74.8 F
Mobile
73.9 F
Huntsville
73 F
Birmingham
68.8 F
Montgomery

Bentley abolishes ‘gun free zones’ at rest areas, orders signs removed

Gov. Robert Bentley delivers the 2015 State of the State Address, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in the Old House Chamber of the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. (Photo: Governor's Office, Jamie Martin)
Gov. Robert Bentley delivers the 2015 State of the State Address, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in the Old House Chamber of the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. (Photo: Governor’s Office, Jamie Martin)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Governor Robert Bentley announced Friday afternoon that he ordered all “no weapons allowed” signs removed from Alabama’s rest areas after readers of Yellowhammer News contacted the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) this week asking the agency to justify their policy.

The Governor’s director of communications, Jennifer Ardis, explained further.

ALDOT cited a provision of the Alabama Code that gives the agency the power to “prescribe any reasonable rules and regulations so as to prevent unnecessary trespassing upon or injury to any of the public roads, bridges, or highways of the state upon which state money may be expended or appropriated or upon any part of the right-of-way of any of the public roads or highways in the state upon which state money may be expended or appropriated.”

In their own administrative rule, ALDOT created a regulation which reads, “No person other than a duly authorized law enforcement officer shall enter any Alabama Department of Transportation building with a firearm… without the written permission of the Director.”

This is the provision the agency used to justify the “no weapons allowed” signs at rest areas along Alabama’s interstates and highways.

This ALDOT enactment seemed to contradict state law, which gives “the Legislature complete control over regulation and policy pertaining to firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories in order to ensure that such regulation and policy is applied uniformly throughout this state to each person subject to the state’s jurisdiction and to ensure protection of the right to keep and bear arms recognized by the Constitutions of the State of Alabama and the United States.”

Evidently, Governor Bentley agreed.