In another interesting legislative turn this week, state senators in Alabama, a state well-known for its love of hunting, country, freedom, and sweet tea, have voted to pass SB 24, a bill to allow people to concealed carry legally-owned firearms without having to obtain a conceal carry permit. This bill now moves to the Alabama State House for consideration.
The Alabama Senate has voted to allow people to carry a concealed handgun without a getting a permit.
Senators approved the bill on a 25-8 vote Tuesday. It now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.
The bill has been heavily criticized by some law enforcement officers who say the permits are needed for public safety. Republican Sen. Gerald Allen of Tuscaloosa, the bill’s sponsor, said that people shouldn’t have to pay to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
While gun-owners may celebrate doing away with the requisite of a concealed carry permit, there are potential repercussions for Alabama gun-owners should they choose to cross state lines. Alabama currently has reciprocity with nearly half of the 50 states. Should this law pass the Alabama House, gun-owners intending to carry their firearms into reciprocity states will need to take advantage of the option to purchase a conceal carry permit to ensure that they can legally concealed carry in those states without repercussions. As the sponsor of this bill, Senator Gerald Allen pointed out,
People would still have the option of buying pistol permits, Allen noted, which he said would be important for those who want to carry in other states that recognize Alabama’s concealed carry law.
Democrat state Senators have declared that bills such as this are simply a means for Republicans to re-brand themselves after a tumultuous Presidential election year, but Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh disagrees, noting that this is a reinforcement of well-established Republican positions on such issues.
“I guess you could say it secures the brands of Republicans,” Marsh said. “Republicans have always stood for religious rights, gun rights, rights of the people. And I think that’s what today was about.”
Kudos to Alabama’s state Senate for overwhelmingly passing this bill. However, Alabama gun-owners, please take care to ensure that you cross your Ts and dot your Is for travel should this pass the state House. As much as we expect criminals to ignore all laws regarding guns, it is a step in the right direction for 2nd amendment supporters to keep an eye out for new legislation that may affect your rights in other states. Opponents of gun rights will surely be keeping an eye out for anyone who does not realize that they still need the permit for legal concealed carry reciprocity in other states.
If you support this bill and want to ensure it passes in the Alabama House, please find and contact your Alabama House representatives here.