MONTGOMERY, Ala. (April 20, 2017) – On Tuesday, the Alabama Senate passed a “Constitutional Carry” bill that would eliminate the requirement to obtain a permit in order to lawfully carry. Passage into law would also foster an environment hostile to federal gun control.
Sen. Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) introduced Senate Bill 24 (SB24) in February. The legislation would eliminated the permit requirement for carrying a concealed firearm in the state.
SB24 would still allow Alabama residents to obtain a conceal carry license so they can carry in states that have conceal carry reciprocity with Alabama.
The Senate approved SB24 by a 26-8 vote along party lines.
“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 back when he pre-filed the bill. “We already allow open carry without a permit, and there is no logical reason for continuing to require a permit for concealed carry.”
While constitutional carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway. The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”
Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.
State actions like passage of SB26 would lower barriers for those wanting to the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.
“Constitutional carry is a big step toward being able to exercise a natural right that has been infringed at all levels for far too long,” ShallNot.org campaign lead Scott Landreth said.
SB26 will move to the House for further consideration. As of the date of this report, the bill had not been referred to a committee. Once it receives a committee assignment, it will need to pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.