By WVUA 23 Web Writer Christopher Desanctis
The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office got the Tuscaloosa County Commission’s help Wednesday in its quest to change the county’s pistol permit laws.
As the law stands now, pistol permit applications are free. After someone fills out an application, the sheriff’s office does a background check. If the application passes muster, only then are applicants asked to hand over a fee.
This means there are loads of residents who apply, get turned down and apply again, Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy said. And even if they get approved, a not insignificant number of those applicants never pick up their permit, and never pay the fee.
Abernathy said he wants the rules changed so applicants pay a fee when they turn in their application. If the change is approved, Abernathy said the change lessens the workload because fewer people will apply multiple times if they’re turned down the first time.
Not to mention, Abernathy said, the cost per permit will go down with the change.
“Under the current legislation we are asking for, the cost would actually go down $2,” he said.
Pistol permits are currently $20, so the application fee would go down to $18.
Despite the County Commission’s approval, the proposed law has to go through Alabama’s Legislature before it can be enacted.
“Who knows when that’ll occur,” said Tuscaloosa County Probate Judge Hardy McCollum. “It has to pass the legislature first.”