Madison County gun shop says new Alabama firearm policy is fair

The regulation comes after the federal government learned some counties in Alabama have been giving permits to felons.

Posted: Jul 24, 2019 6:40 PM
Updated: Jul 24, 2019 6:41 PM

There are changes coming for anyone in Alabama who legally buys a gun.

The federal government issued a public safety advisory after learning some counties have been giving permits to felons. 

"Like on a practical stand point, is it going to affect them when they come in to purchase a firearm? No," said Melanie Hammer Murry, a co-owner of Bullet and Barrel.

Melanie Hammer Murry said it's important for her employees and customers to know about the new rule, so she posted it to the store's Facebook page. However, she said Bullet and Barrel is keeping opinion out of the equation.

"We really purposely are not commenting on whether we think it's a good policy or bad policy," said Hammer Murry.

Until now, anyone with a conceal carry permit in Alabama could skip the background check process when buying a gun. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms put a stop to that practice this week after an audit showed some counties were issuing permits to felons and immigrants who didn't have the proper documentation.

"Maybe that they see that there's potential for a problem and they're trying to head it off. I mean, that's not a bad thing," said Hammer Murry.

Gun dealers in about half the states in the country are allowed to legally bypass the background process.

Employees at Bullet and Barrel told WAAY 31 the major difference is a potential waiting period when you purchase a gun.

"They can get delayed. You know that's just part of it, and if that's the case, they'll get their gun up to three business days later and that's just how it'll work," said Louis Southard, the store's general manager.

Hammer Murry said they will not be charging any extra fee for a background check. She also said they have never had any issues at their store with background checks of any kind.

The ATF did not say which counties were issuing permits to people who didn't pass the background checks.

We reached out to the Madison County Sheriff's office and they told us they follow all federal and state guidelines when issuing permits. They assured us no permits were issued to felons or immigrants who didn't have proper documentation in Madison County.

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