It appears that the recent surge in “constitutional carry” laws is continuing to pick up steam, as the Alabama legislature appears poised to pass a law this session that will allow the open or concealed carry of a handgun without requiring a government-issued permit.
Sen. Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) is sponsoring legislation to allow Alabama gun owners the right to carry their handguns concealed with them at all times. Sen. Allen said in a statement, “Last week I pre-filed legislation in the Alabama State Senate to allow Alabamians to lawfully carry guns without a permit. This permitless carry proposal would remove a needless restriction on Alabamians’ Second Amendment rights and make it easier for citizens to protect and defend their families and property. Alabama should be leading the way on constitutional gun rights. More than ten states across the country already allow their citizens to carry guns without a permit. It’s time we give our citizens the right to bear arms without first seeking the government’s permission. We already allow open carry without a permit, and there is no logical reason for continuing to require a permit for concealed carry.”
Alabamians already have the right to carry their handguns openly, everywhere except in their vehicles, without a permit. Under present law handguns have to be unloaded, locked in a box, and away from reach unless you buy a concealed carry permit, this does not apply to long guns which are legal to carry openly or in vehicles.
The Alabama House Republicans Caucus has already included this item on their “Alabama Proud” agenda. Since the Republicans have super majorities in both Houses and both GOP Caucuses this agenda item will be prioritized in both Houses and is virtually certain to pass into law.
Despite the nearly continuous echo from the nation’s few remaining gun control groups that any changes in gun laws will lead to “blood in the streets”—an argument they made as concealed carry laws spread across the nation in the 1980 and 1990s that was shown to be false—the states which have adopted permitless carry have not seen any dramatic changes in crime. Instead, they’re simply seeing more law-abiding chose to carry arms for self-defense, and a court system that doesn’t have to deal with petty charges of someone carrying a concealed handgun without a license.
Permitless or “constitutional” carry is certainly an emerging trend in the United States, and I expect that the majority of states will implement their own constitutional carry bills in the next decade, with it perhaps becoming the de facto national standard within the next two decades, with the freedom-challenged “slave states” of California, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York fighting against the restoration of individual firearms liberties every step of the way.