HENAGAR — During a recent appearance on Alabama Public Television's "Capitol Journal," Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey said the Alabama Legislature should consider increased penalties for those who used a gun while committing a crime.

The Montgomery County prosecutor, who is grappling with the city of Montgomery's crime wave, expressed frustration with the legislature.

"I think the legislature, to be honest with you, is also part of the problem," Bailey said. "There's some good common sense gun laws that — you know, I've had a gun bill up for the legislature for the last three years that will not come out. And it's dealing with creating mandatory time for those who use guns and violent offenses. I think everybody can get behind that, but unfortunately, we can't get that passed."

House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter responded to Bailey's proposal during an interview with Mobile radio's FM Talk 106.5 from the Sand Mountain Potato Festival in DeKalb County that aired Monday.

The DeKalb County Republican said he was open to the idea but also said local leadership must accept some of the responsibility for its problems.

"You know, I think anything we can do and look at is a possibility," he said. "You know, we've done that with fentanyl. You know, I don't know how much it's really helped. You know, you see all the crimes and what's going on with it now, but I'm open. And certainly, this is my thing from the standpoint of where it's Jefferson County or whether it's in Montgomery or Mobile or whatever the crime rate is, you know, the people in those positions have got to take responsibility."

"And I have seen firsthand in news reports and everybody else where some of the leadership wants to blame everybody else," Ledbetter added. "And I think there comes a time when you got to stand up, and you got to be a leader and you got to take responsibility for what's going on."

Ledbetter also urged caution in imposing a one-size-fits-all solution for a localized crime problem on the entire state.

Jeff Poor is the editor in chief of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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