Attorney General says City Hall gun ban is allowed

Published 8:36 pm Wednesday, May 17, 2017

An investigation into a complaint of a firearm ban at Selma City Hall determined the city was compliant with state law after a sign was placed outside the front door.

Attorney General Steve Marshall released a statement earlier this week regarding the investigation.

“My investigation determined that city hall did not post a notice at its public entrance alerting the public that firearms are prohibited,” Marshall wrote.

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According to Marshall, the city reviewed a copy of a citizen-filed complaint, and a sign was then posted notifying the public of the firearm ban.

The complaint was filed by David Blackmon, who posted a video of himself being denied entry into city hall in February with his two daughters while they were visiting for a homeschool field trip. The video shows Blackmon being denied entry while carrying a weapon by the security guard.

Marshall said because the city did post the sign, no further action is required.

“The decision is what was expected as lawmakers will never hold one another accountable,” Blackmon said in response to Marshall’s statement. “Luther Strange and Stephen Marshall have never sued any political subdivision because there is no punishment in law to achieve.”

Security measures were put in place at the front door of city hall in November when the city council voted to allow Mayor Darrio Melton to contract a security firm to provide security for city hall. The sign was not posted until early March.

According to state law, a city hall is not one of the buildings listed as restricted for firearms unless a city council meeting is in session. State law also requires a posted notice prohibiting firearms if access to a building is limited by security and metal detectors.

“The way it was before the restrictions was anyone there who was not a restricted person could carry,” Blackmon said. “Now, only the employees he sees fit [can carry] while the people of the city who lawfully can carry can’t. He has more restrictions at city hall then the law allows at any school, where with a permit, carry is allowed.”

Blackmon said because he was not arrested there are no damages to seek, but he was offended because one of his daughters was upset they had to leave city hall without touring the building.

“We homeschool and this day was a chance to visit city hall with a special needs child who was eight years old and just beginning to walk,” he said. “She cried forever.”

Marshall also commented on complaints in Lawrence County and Trussville. Investigations into those complaints required language on a sign outside of the Lawrence County Courthouse to be changed and signs at the Trussville Public Library to be removed.