Law enforcement officials are proposing that punitive action should be taken against the criminal caught in possession of a stolen firearm. James Barber, city of Mobile public safety director, says the crime should be made a Class C felony. He will testify before the Alabama State Senate Judiciary Committee in Montgomery Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at a public hearing. Barber will be joined by Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste and other major city police chiefs who are expected to be in attendance to help address the issue.
The proposal comes after much discussion among legislators who are proponents of making it a criminal act to leave a gun in an unlocked vehicle. This negligence can put other citizens in danger especially when the stolen gun is subsequently used to commit an act of violence.
“Although I understand the frustration, I absolutely do not agree with arresting an otherwise law-abiding citizen simply because they forgot to lock their vehicle,” Barber says. “The bottom line is that no one has the right to come onto your property, enter your vehicle, and remove anything without your permission.”
Barber believes the problem must be addressed, but his position is set on punishment for the criminal who law enforcement officers find in possession of a stolen firearm.