Smith continues to lobby against gun bill

Published 10:22 am Thursday, March 7, 2013

A bill opposed by law enforcement officials across the state — including Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith — could go before the full Senate next week after it passed that body’s judiciary committee Tuesday.

Smith and other law enforcement professionals have said that Senate Bill 286 would take away a sheriff’s discretion to refuse a concealed carry permit from individuals in their counties.

“Under this bill, the boy in Connecticut who killed those children would have been able to have a permit,” Smith said Wednesday, arguing that local law enforcement who know the residents in their areas exercise better judgement in such cases.

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Smith said he believes lawmakers are scared of the National Rifle Association, which has backed the bill.

Smith will be in Montgomery and Birmingham today and Friday to continue efforts to lobby against the legislation.

If it passes the Senate, the bill will go to the House, where a tougher fight to pass it is expected.