The Alabama Senate will vote on a legislation Tuesday that would allow people to lawfully carry a concealed handgun without needing to get a permit first.
Senate Bill 24, sponsored by Tuscaloosa-Republican state Rep. Gerald Allen, would remove restrictions on Second Amendment rights and would codify constitutional carry as the law of the land.
The bill however, has been heavily criticized by some of the state’s law enforcement officials, including the Alabama Sheriff’s Association and the Alabama County Commissioners Association, who say concealed carry permits are necessary for public safety.
“It’s a bad piece of legislation. It’s probably one of the worst we’ve seen,” Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden told AlabamaNews.net.
Concealed carry permits are typically only granted should an individual pass a background check. SB24 would in essence allow anyone who has previously failed a background check and denied a carry permit to carry a gun.
But Rep. Allen says the bill is all about the Second Amendment and U.S. Constitution, which he says protects “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” for the “security of a free state.” He doesn’t think Alabamians should be required to pay their hard-earned dollars to exercise those rights.
“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,” Allen said. “We already allow open carry without a permit, and there is no logical reason for continuing to require a permit for concealed carry.”
The National Rifle Association (NRA) also supports the bill.
“The law-abiding citizens of Alabama have a fundamental, constitutional right to keep and bear arms,” said the NRA. “The NRA supports legislation that would provide law-abiding citizens greater freedom to protect themselves in the manner that best suits their needs, while still keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals.”
Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said he expects the Republican-controlled Senate to pass the measure Tuesday.
According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 11 states —Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming — allow people to carry concealed weapons in public without a permit.