Mobile, AL – The Mobile County sheriff announced that he had relieved a captain from duty after the two clashed over political views on gun control.
Mobile County Sheriff’s Captain Shane Stringer was the chief of police in Satsuma when he was elected to state office in 2018, AL.com reported.
Prior to becoming Satsuma police chief, Capt. Stringer was chief of the Citronelle Police Department.
After he was elected to represent Citronelle in the state legislature in 2018, he resigned from Satsuma and received an appointment to captain in the Mobile County Sheriff’s Department, AL.com reported.
But Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran and Capt. Stringer have clashed politically since he joined the department.
Mobile County Sheriff’s Department Spokeswoman Lori Myles said that Capt. Stringer’s political views ran afoul of Sheriff Cochran’s beliefs, AL.com reported.
Sheriff Cochran disagreed with Capt. Stringer’s sponsorship of constitutional-carry legislation, Myles said.
Alabama lawmakers are set to vote Monday on House Bill 618 which will determine whether Alabama residents will be permitted to carry handguns concealed without having to obtain a permit or pay a fee, AL.com reported.
Some law enforcement object to the move on the grounds that having records of gun permits serves as a safety tool for officers when making traffic stops, arrests, and serving warrants.
Myles also said the sheriff had concerns about the law enforcement officer-turned-legislator’s support of legislation forbidding state and local law enforcement from enforcing new federal gun laws or executive orders that conflict with the Second Amendment, AL.com reported.
She said Capt. Stringer held an appointed position and that he would no longer hold any position with the sheriff’s department as of the end of the month.
“I think they agreed to disagree,” Myles told reporters. “But when you work for a company, you have to abide by the company’s philosophies and rules especially when you are part of a staff where everyone answers to the Sheriff. We have to be of one accord.”
She spoke highly of Capt. Stringer, AL.com reported.
“He would be a great hire for someone,” Myles said. “He’s been in law enforcement. But at the end of this month, he will end his career being on staff with us.”
Capt. Stringer released a statement on Friday morning that addressed his termination, WKRG reported.
The captain “is proud to stand in defense of the Second Amendment gun rights of Alabamians despite being fired by Mobile Sheriff Sam Cochran for his position on the issue,” the statement read.
“The Second Amendment gun rights of Alabamians are under attack from a liberal federal government that is out of control and even from some factions right here at home,” Capt. Stringer said. “After dedicating my life and career to law enforcement, losing a job because I stand in support of Alabama gun owners is certainly surprising, but nothing will discourage me from defending the constitutional guarantees promised to all of us as American citizens.”
He said Sheriff Cochran fired him over his sponsorship of the constitutional-carry legislation, WKRG reported.
“The U.S. Constitution does not say you have a right to keep and bear arms as long as you pay what amounts to a gun tax in the form of permit fees,” Capt. Stringer said. “It says you have the right to keep and carry firearms… period.”
The career law enforcement officer said he wouldn’t let Sheriff Cochran firing him stop his efforts, WKRG reported.
“As a state legislator, I swore an oath to God that I would support the U.S. Constitution, and this legislation does just that,” Capt. Stringer said. “And whether or not I am employed by the Mobile Sheriff’s Office, my heart and soul will always belong to the mission of enforcing the law and to my fellow officers who seek to protect the men, women, and children of Alabama.”
The Police Tribune reached out to Capt. Stringer for comment but had not received a response at publication time.