HUGE SUCCESS: The Alabama State House Votes Unanimously to Legalize Conceal And carry Within Its Jurisdiction

Photo Source: Sean Logan/The Arizona Republic via AP

The Alabama House of Representatives adopted legislation on Tuesday that eliminates the need for a permit to carry a concealed weapon in public. After Republicans in the chamber confined discussion to two hours, lawmakers voted 65-37 in favor of the plan.

The measure is now on its way to the Alabama Senate. Gun rights activists have championed a notion known as “constitutional carry,” believing that people should not be required to get a permit, which includes a background check and a cost, in order to carry a weapon that they lawfully possess.

Many state sheriffs and other law enforcement officials have spoken out against the proposal, stating that the permits are an important tool for combating crime and improving public safety.

“This measure makes no changes to who can and cannot carry a firearm.” People who are now barred will continue to be prohibited “Republican Citronelle Rep. Shane Stringer stated of his bill. Stringer, a former police chief and captain in the Mobile County sheriff’s office, said that the permits do not improve public safety.

“The truth is that criminals do not follow the law. This $20 piece of plastic, a permit, will not prevent a wicked individual from committing a crime or doing wrong, nor will it protect our law enforcement officers from being injured or murdered.”

Alabama presently requires persons to get a concealed carry permit, which includes an annual background check, in order to carry a handgun in public while wearing their clothing or in a purse or bag. The law would repeal the requirement, although people may still obtain a permit if they so desired.

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It would also repeal the current rule that persons who do not have concealed carry permits keep their pistols empty and stowed while driving. Tuskegee Democrat Rep. Pebblin Warren claimed the measure will encourage young people to “simply go crazy in the street with guns.”

“We’re putting ourselves in a position to basically incentivize violence,” Warren added. Warren, the widow of a former state sheriff, presented a letter opposing the bill from Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham, who now heads the Alabama Sheriffs Association. Republican Rep. Allen Farley, a veteran deputy sheriff, described the permits as a tool for “catching those folks who should not have a handgun.”

Farley claims that permission payments assist sustain tiny sheriff’s departments and that arrests for permit violators have resulted in narcotics seizures and crime solving. “Why are we making Alabama’s tiny blue line even thinner?” Farley stated.

According to Stateline, a Pew Charitable Trusts effort, 21 states allow concealed handguns in public without a permit. The Alabama Legislation Enforcement Agency is constructing a database, enabled under a state law enabling a lifelong concealed carry permit option, that police will be able to use to identify those who are not legally eligible to carry a firearm, according to a bill proponent.

Stringer stated that it will be a better tool for law enforcement personnel to use in removing weapons from persons who are not legally allowed to possess them. Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said the database’s goal is excellent, but he does not believe it can replace permits since there would be gaps in data collection.

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