Alabama Sheriff Todd Entrekin Refuses to Give Gun Permits to High School Students, in Spite of Permissive New Gun Law

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Alabama’s permissive new gun law allows 18-year-old high school students to obtain permits for handguns and carry them to school, but Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin says he will refuse to issue gun permits to high school kids, no matter what the new law requires.

“A court will have to order us to do that,” Entrekin said. “That’s something we feel very strongly about.”

Entrekin feels he is not defying the new gun legislation with his stance because the gun law that went into effect on Aug. 1 contradicts an Alabama law already on the books, which bans high schoolers from bringing guns to school.

The existing law states that any high school student who carries a firearm into school or to a school function, such as a football game, must be suspended from school for a full year.

Entrekin believes the possibility of mistakes with guns trumps the expansive new gun rights granted by the Aug. 1 legislation.

 “I don't want to give [a permit] to a high school student and they forget it's in their car at school,” Entrekin said. “I hate to deny somebody what they think is their right, but I'd hate to cause a problem at that school or for that kid.”

Another source of conflict is that, while the law allows 18-year-olds teens to carry guns, firearms merchants remain prohibited from selling a gun to anyone under 21.

Nonetheless, Entrekin said that his personal ban on permits for 18 year olds extends only to those still in school. He has already issued nine permits to applicants under the age of 21 since the new law took effect, but none of those were currently enrolled in high school.

“When they graduate high school, we'll be more than happy to issue them one,” Entrekin said, who was recently named a “Rising Republican Star” by the Alabama GOP.

SOURCES: The Gadsen Times, WEAC TV 24, Alabama Republican Party