By: GPM Staff
The Alabama House Public Safety Committee approved a Constitutional Carry measure for the first time in state history.
This is a shocking turn of events, since the Public Safety Committee has killed Constitutional Carry for several years leading up to Tuesday’s vote.
The Alabama Sheriffs Association and the Board of County Commissioners testified in opposition to the bill, while representatives from the National Association for Gun Rights and BamaCarry spoke in favor of this pro-gun legislation.
House Bill 405, sponsored by State Rep. Andrew Sorrell, would eliminate the requirement for a law-abiding citizen to have a permit to carry a firearm.
Alabama law already allows for the permitless open carry of a handgun as long as the carrier is not in a vehicle. This bill would allow a citizen to put a coat on or get in a vehicle without needing a government permission slip.
Four states have already passed Constitutional Carry legislation this year, bringing the total to 20 Constitutional Carry states. Texas and Louisiana are well on their way to joining this growing list with some form of a Constitutional Carry bill having passed at least one chamber in both states.
Just recently, Governor Kay Ivey signed Senate Bill 308 into law, creating a new Lifetime Carry Permit and a new statewide database to track who is not supposed to possess a firearm.
Both the National Association for Gun Rights and BamaCarry opposed that legislation, noting a new database was not needed and could lead to innocent people losing their rights due to clerical errors.
Such a situation would not be a surprising outcome considering the new database relies heavily on the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) that regularly gives out “false positives,” claiming that someone should not have a gun.
In fact, during the Obama years, tens of thousands of veterans and citizens on social security were added to the NICS database without due process, and it is nearly impossible to have a name removed from this database.
Those people can now be marked as “Firearms Prohibited” in Alabama, and law enforcement will be able to see that false information when they run a driver’s license.
Now that lawmakers have created this database, many of them who claim that permits help law enforcement know who the bad guys are have theoretically lost their objection to Constitutional Carry.
The State Legislature is expected to adjourn for the year on May 6, leaving very little time to get the Constitutional Carry bill through the remainder of the process.
House Bill 405 now goes to the House Rules Committee, where Chairman Mike Jones must add the bill to the “pick list” and another member must “pick” the bill for the Special Order calendar.
Gun owners in Alabama must continue calling their elected officials in order to make Alabama the 21stConstitutional Carry state.