Alabama Senate votes to allow concealed handguns without permit
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The bill that would make it legal to carry a concealed firearm without a permit passed in the senate. But there are still more steps for this bill before Alabama can become a constitutional carry state.
New amendments centered on public safety and lost revenue were added to the bill. Those require someone to declare they have a firearm if stopped and let law enforcement check the weapon. Another amendment uses tax dollars to replace money sheriff’s departments risk losing with this bill.
“Taxpayers’ money upped about $5 million to replace money that sheriffs are already collecting now,” said Sen. Bobby Singleton, the senate minority leader.
Singleton argues that without this bill the state could allocate money to more in-need areas of the state.
Sen. Gerald Allen disagrees saying the second amendment wasn’t written for people to pay to bear arms.
“Yeah, absolutely it’s a right, not a fee,” said Allen on explaining why he believes permits are an infringement on the 2nd amendment.
Allen says making permits optional won’t greatly affect sales.
“The statistics show that many states who have passed constitutional carry maintain a very high number of renewals of pistol permits,” said Allen.
Some in law enforcement are still against permitless carry, but Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones says they’ve tried to work with the legislature to include certain elements law enforcement needs in the bill.
“We’re hoping that would help law enforcement and it certainly works to give us at least some of the things back that help us to do our job to protect our communities,” said Jones.
With the new amendments, the bill heads back to the House.
“I feel like we’ve improved the bill significantly as it’s headed back to the house for concurrence and it would be my encouragement to them to agree with the changes we’ve made I think that make the legislation better,” said Senate Pro Tempore, Sen. Greg Reed.
This is a priority item for the Republican caucus, so passage in the House is likely sometime next week.
If passed the bill must be signed by Gov. Kay Ivey to become law.
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