Alabama has had concealed carry for a while. Unfortunately, there were…issues with it. Now, those are some pretty serious issues which, frankly, shouldn’t matter, but they do. While no one is going to stop someone from carrying under the current system, it is a bit of a let down to not be able to use your permit to skip the NICS check.

Don’t get me wrong, the vast majority of people, if not everyone, who got permits under the current system can still pass the check, but the ATF has ruled otherwise and that’s just kind of how it is. For now, anyway.

On Wednesday, the Alabama state senate approved a new plan that should change all of that.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would create a statewide system concealed carry permit system.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Randy Price, R-Opelika, would authorize the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) to create the system. Individuals would be able to apply for one-year, five-year or lifetime permits with their local sheriff.

The sheriff would have 30 days to decide on an application. A sheriff would run a criminal background check on applicants and would have the power to deny an application. Upon granting a permit, the sheriff would notify ALEA.

Lifetime permits would expire after an individual moved out of state.

Price described the bill as a public safety measure.

“The most important thing we bring out of this is information and uniformity of this information,” he said. “Bringing all 67 counties together will bring safety to our officers.”

Some gun rights activists took issue with putting all of this information into a central database, which is understandable. Such a database can be used to some degree as gun registration, even if particular firearms are never mentioned. After all, people who apply for carry permits tend to have something to carry, right?

However, it’s clear something needed to be done for poor Alabamans to be able to use that permit to skip the NICS check.

For many, that’s not a big thing, but if you’ve had a delay for some reason that took days to settle out, you begin to understand just how annoying that background check can be. No one should have to go through that.

Unfortunately, Alabama can’t really make those background checks just disappear. What they can do, though, is comply with the rules in place to allow those who can pass a check but would rather not to have some means to bypass those checks lawfully. That means cleaning up their concealed carry system.

Of course, Alabama has toyed with the idea of going to constitutional carry, which some might argue makes this a moot point, but it doesn’t. Even in constitutional carry states, the issued permit may still allow you to skip the NICS check. Besides, they’re not a constitutional carry state yet. Best to cover all your basis while you can. Otherwise, you may end up sorely disappointed in the long run.