West Alabama residents filled a volunteer fire department in Butler as Senator Richard Shelby talked about everything from the state's budget to the debate over gun control.
Shelby tours parts of the state every year and takes part in "Meet and Greet" functions, so he can hear firsthand about the issues that are most important to Alabama residents. Shelby says right now, the budget is something that everyone is concerned about.
We could curtel spending and we could have a stronger economic situation," Shelby said. "We could create more jobs. We can't give up on that, we got to keep fighting that battle. The problem in America right now, we are spending to much. We are borrowing too much and we are saving too little. It's a recipe for disaster."
Right now, state lawmakers are working to balance the general fund and education budgets when funds are already tight. Despite this, Governor Robert Bentley has proposed a 2.5 percent pay raise for teachers and education workers.
It was a Connecticut school shooting late last year that claimed 26 innocent lives that sparked the debate over whether there should be tougher gun control laws. However, Shelby says that gun owners have rights that should not be infringed upon.
"Some of the advocates that would take your gun away from you, they better be going back and reading the Second Amendment to the Constitution," Senator Shelby said. "I'm not one of those advocates. I believe we ought to be careful with guns, but I'm a gun owner. I believe we have the right to own guns. We do have too many killings. We ought to look at some of the violence on television."
Shelby was first elected to the Senate in 1986.