We support Curry’s decision and policy on issuing pistol permits

Published 11:40 am Tuesday, October 16, 2012

An 18-year-old Shelby County man, Henri Beaulieu III, has filed a lawsuit against Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry.

Beaulieu, a sophomore at UAB, applied to the Sheriff’s Office for a permit to carry a pistol. Curry denied that request.

Beaulieu is being represented by his mother, Pelham attorney Donna Beaulieu, who cited in her complaint a section of Alabama law that reads a sheriff may issue a permit to an applicant who “has good reason to fear injury to his or her person…and that he or she is a suitable person to be so licensed.”

According to the lawsuit, Curry interviewed Beaulieu in May and in June, denied the permit.

In a quote to our reporter, Donna Beaulieu said she would like her son to have the protection at 18 as a college student to go downtown at night and be able to carry a concealed weapon while doing so.

According to the Sheriff’s Office website, applicants for permits to carry pistols must be at least 21 years of age. At 19, with the expressed permission of a parent or legal guardian, the Sheriff will consider the issuance of a license.

Beaulieu’s complaint seems to center around the fact that Alabama law does not expressly issue an age limit on the issuance of pistol permits and the Curry’s policy in considering those for citizens 19 and older is arbitrary.

Shelby County Attorney Butch Ellis, who represents Curry, said Alabama law gives Curry considerable leeway in whether to approve a pistol permit for citizens under the age of 21.

In the end, we, the citizens of Shelby County, elected Curry to represent us and to enforce Alabama’s laws for the protection of all of its citizens. We trust and support his decision, and hope the lawsuit is dismissed without merit.

Our story about the lawsuit has generated a number of interesting comments on our website, many making good points on both sides of the equation.

Sometimes our readers say it best, as this reader did in a comment about the story: “Forty thousand people manage to visit, study and work at UAB daily and thousands more downtown without any problems.”