State Rep. Shane Stringer (R – Mobile) said on Friday that he is proud to stand in defense of the Second Amendment gun rights of Alabamians despite being fired by Mobile Sheriff Sam Cochran for his position on the issue.
“The Second Amendment gun rights of Alabamians are under attack from a liberal federal government that is out of control and even from some factions right here at home,” Stringer, who previously served as the chief of the Satsuma Police Department, said. “After dedicating my life and career to law enforcement, losing a job because I stand in support of Alabama gun owners is certainly surprising, but nothing will discourage me from defending the constitutional guarantees promised to all of us as American citizens.”
Cochran notified Stringer on Wednesday that he was being fired as a captain within the department because he is sponsoring “constitutional carry” gun rights legislation as a member of the Alabama House of Representatives. Cochran also told a Washington County media outlet that the permitless pistol carry bill was the reason for the personnel decision.
Stringer’s House Bill 618 would allow Alabamians to carry or conceal a pistol without first obtaining a permit from their local sheriff’s office. Some local sheriffs have opposed legislation like Stringer’s because they have come to depend upon fees from the permitting process as a revenue generator for their offices, and others have expressed safety concerns.
“The U.S. Constitution does not say you have a right to keep and bear arms as long as you pay what amounts to a gun tax in the form of permit fees,” Stringer said. “It says you have the right to keep and carry firearms… period.”
Stringer said that despite Cochran’s action, he remains committed to his legislation and to the Alabama law enforcement community.
“As a state legislator, I swore an oath to God that I would support the U.S. Constitution, and this legislation does just that,” Stringer said. “And whether or not I am employed by the Mobile Sheriff’s Office, my heart and soul will always belong to the mission of enforcing the law and to my fellow officers who seek to protect the men, women, and children of Alabama.”