DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - The Decatur City Council is considering banning city employees from carrying a gun to work. The city tried to pass a similar law twelve years ago, but state law did not allow it then.
Previously, state law did not permit city governments to restrict employees with carry-and-conceal permits from carrying guns at work. The new gun law, which actually aims to expand the rights of gun owners, took that part out.
The proposal the council is weighing would ban all city employees except police officers and prosecutors from packing guns while working. The new state gun law states that municipalities can now do this. The council is working through the legalities.
There is some support for the gun ban. Councilman Gary Harmon, who is against it, said he believes it would step on the constitutional right for city employees to bear arms. He said he would rather city workers have the option to be armed in case of an emergency.
"It certainly doesn't apply to anyone else using city properties, but we're restricting our employees' second amendment rights. I'm not sure I quite agree with that," he said.
Several Decatur residents agreed the city, or any other employer, should be able to make such a policy, but most offer a different opinion.
"If they decide they want to carry a gun, that's their decision. If somebody comes in shooting, they should be able to protect themselves," said resident Austin Terry.
The city council is expected to vote on whether to ban employees from carrying guns on the job next Monday.