Alabama Republican Wants to Repeal Constitutional Carry

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Alabama State Rep. Reed Ingram has had it pretty easy in his campaigns to date. In fact, the three-term legislators has never once faced an opponent in either the Republican primary or the general election. If he decides to run for re-election in 2026, however, Ingram is almost certain to face a challenger, at least if he moves forward with his plan to introduce a bill repealing Constitutional Carry.


A law signed in 2022 made the state’s concealed carry law less stringent. Currently, anyone over 19 years old can carry a concealed handgun without a permit, background check or training.

Now, one Republican state representative says he feels it was a “bad bill.”

In response, Rep. Reed Ingram says he intends to file a bill that would instead require someone to be 21 to conceal carry. They would also have to pass a hunter safety course or get a permit from the sheriff’s office.

Ingram says if police encounter someone with a gun, that person would have to have a valid form of identification to prove they can legally have that gun.

As my colleague Tom Knighton noted earlier today, there are only a few days remaining in this year's session, so Ingram's attempt to repeal Constitutional Carry is probably going to have to wait until next year, even if he does introduce a bill at some point this week. 

At least one county sheriff is already backing Ingram's repeal efforts. Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham claims that "responsible" gun owners have nothing to fear from the demise of Constitutional Carry. 

“This bill will take it to where if you don’t have an ID, the law enforcement have the option to take the gun and hold it until they come in and show their ID,” Ingram said.

Ingram says this bill will also allow them to check to see if the gun is stolen.

Cunningham says this would eliminate violence without punishing responsible gun owners. 

“A good, hardworking person who wants to carry a gun for a protection, they’re going to have those things,” said Cunningham. “They’re going to have the things in place that they need.”


Oh, so that's all that's needed to "eliminate" violence? If that's the case, then why did Montgomery, Alabama have 77 homicides in 2021; the year before Constitutional Carry took effect? Murders declined to 62 in 2022, the year that Gov. Kay Ivey signed Constitutional Carry into law, but increased to 75 last year. 

Was Constitutional Carry to blame? It's hard to argue that's the case when Birmingham saw its homicide rate decline by more than 6% last year, Mobile police touted the "largest decrease in crime for a single year" since 1988, and other cities in Constitutional Carry states like Oklahoma City, Atlanta, and Houston all saw double-digit declines in their murder rates. 

Are there violent criminals illegally carrying guns in Alabama? Yep. Is that a reason to forbid young adults from exercising their right to carry, or to demand that lawful citizens once again start carrying papers to prove to police that they're permitted to exercise their Second Amendment rights? Not in my book. There are plenty of "good, hardworking" people in Montgomery County and the rest of the state who are legally carrying without the need for a government-issued permission slip, and making it a crime for them do so won't impact violent offenders in the slightest. 

My guess is that Ingram floated his bill now rather than earlier in the session because he wanted to see what the immediate response from his colleagues would be before he formally introduced legislation, and my advice to Alabama gun owners is to contact your state representative and senator and encourage them to tell Ingram they won't be co-sponsoring or supporting any effort to take the state backward. As for Ingram, let's hope that there's at least one person in House District 75 who's willing to challenge the incumbent when he's up for re-election two years from now and give voters a choice between a candidate who'll stand up for their Second Amendment rights and someone who wants to restrict them. 


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