New state senate bill could create lifetime conceal carry permit

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WAFF) -- The bill would allow people to apply for a lifetime conceal carry permit and create a statewide database to keep track of people with permits.

The bill is Senate Bill 47 and in the house there is an identical bill, House Bill 39. The house bill is sponsored by Rep. Proncey Robertson, a Republican from Decatur.

Robertson is a former law enforcement officer and said he has heard concerns from sheriffs about a loss in revenue because people would not be reapplying for pistol permits as much, but he said his bill would create a new form of revenue. According to Robertson’s bill, every time a new person is convicted of a crime that would prohibit them from having a conceal carry they would have to pay a new $50 court fee.

Robertson said $45 of that new fee would go to the local sheriff’s office and that would make up for revenue lost to people not reapplying for a conceal carry permit.

As far as the statewide system to track people with permits, Robertson said this is in no way an attempt to register guns.

“It’s about registering the bad guys," he said. "Those who have been prohibited from carrying a firearm: violent felons, those who have been convicted of domestic violence and those who have had some type of mental defect to the point a judge has ruled them to be involuntarily committed.”

He said if a person were to get convicted of a crime that would prohibit them from being a lifetime conceal carry permit holder then they would be taken out of the system immediately.

Currently, Robertson said each county across Alabama has their own way of keeping track of permits, this just consolidates everything into on system.

He said for anyone concerned about their privacy, this system will be completely secure.

“If you have a driver’s license now and you have a conceal carry permit there is nothing new we will be asking you in this system," Robertson said.

Robertson said ALEA and sheriff’s offices across the state would work together on the system, he said this would increase accountability.

According to the bill, the cost of a lifetime permit would be $200. For people older than 65 the cost would be $150.

Robertson said that money would be split between the local sheriff’s office in that county and ALEA to manage the system of people, 60% would go to ALEA and 40% to the sheriff’s office.

Robertson said the idea behind the lifetime conceal carry permit is to make things easier on the everyday person.

“It reduces the burden upon the normal citizen," he said. “If you and I haven’t committed a crime that makes us prohibited, then why should we go back year after year after year to pay a new fee and get a new permit?”

He said along with the lifetime conceal carry permit people would still have the opportunity to get 1 and 5 year permits.

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