Yesterday, Senator Randy Price (R-Opelika) and Representative Proncey Robertson (R-Mt. Hope) pre-filed bills in their respective chambers that according to their press release “will establish a cohesive and statewide management level process for administering and managing concealed weapons permits in the state of Alabama.”
In response to a request for comment from Alabama Today, Art Thomm the Alabama State Director of the NRA said, “The NRA strongly supports this streamlined permitting process. Not only would it bring much-needed 21st century technology to Alabama’s antiquated system, but it would be the first time law-abiding Alabamians were given the option for a lifetime concealed carry permit.”
Currently, the application process differs each of the states 67 counties. The Alabma Department of Law Enforcement (ALEA) provides information for those wishing to review current gun laws and restrictions. The law currently states:
Permit to carry pistol in vehicle or concealed on person – Issuance; fee; revocation; release of information.
(a)(1)a. The sheriff of a county, upon the application of any person residing in that county, within 30 days from receipt of a complete application and accompanying fee, shall issue or renew a permit for such person to carry a pistol in a vehicle or concealed on or about his or her person within this state for one- to five-year increments, as requested by the person seeking the permit, from date of issue, unless the sheriff determines that the person is prohibited from the possession of a pistol or firearm pursuant to state or federal law, or has a reasonable suspicion that the person may use a weapon unlawfully or in such other manner that would endanger the person’s self or others.
According to their joint press release, “This legislation would create a streamlined process of standards for Sheriff Departments to implement and will be monitored by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA). This bill creates a cohesive standard for background checks and will bring 21st century technology to Sheriff’s departments and all other law enforcement agencies across the state. Sheriff departments will now have access to electronic information of which all levels of law enforcement will have access to. It will also require municipalities to start reporting those that are convicted of domestic violence as well as Probate Judges to begin reporting individuals that have been involuntary committed. Applicants will also now have the option to apply for a concealed weapons permit for one year, five years or a lifetime permit.”
The bill sponsors both highlighted the increased safety features that this new system would have while emphazing their support for the second amendment.
“As retired police officer I know firsthand what law enforcement officials face on a daily basis. The more information that can be provided is best for all parties. The concealed weapons permit process is a valuable tool to help citizens and law enforcement work together to protect our communities. I am a strong advocate for our 2ndAmendment rights and this will ease the current burden being placed on our law-abiding citizens and put more pressure on those who are “Firearms Prohibited” to follow the law. It will create a standard and transparency in our state,” said Represenative Robertson.
“I am for protecting our gun rights while demanding accountability. Every day our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to protect and serve our cities, counties, and communities. This bill will offer additional safety and information for them to more effectively do their job. As a responsible gun owner, I believe having this new information and a reliable concealed weapons permit process supports the safety both of our citizens and law enforcement without infringing on our 2nd Amendment rights,” said Senator Price.
The NRA-ILA sent out a statewide blast email asking its members to write their legislators in support of the legislation. The alert said, “House Bill 39, sponsored by Representative Proncey Robertson, and Senate Bill 47, sponsored by Senator Randy Price, will create a new statewide, uniform system to provide lifetime permits for qualified applicants at the cost of $200. For state residents over 65, the fee will drop to $150. HB 39 and SB 47 are companion bills and we need both measures passed to secure passage of this critical legislation.”
Alabama Today has reached out to the bill sponsors for a copy of the pending pre-filed legislation as it is not yet available on the Legislature’s website. We will update this story when we recieve it.