By: José Niño
Will Alabama be the next Constitutional Carry state?
State Senator Gerald Allen introduced Senate Bill 5 (SB5) last year to remove the permit requirement for law-abiding Alabamians to carry a firearm. Constitutional Carry effectively restores the Second Amendment and allows people to exercise their right to bear arms without having to ask the government permission first.
Under Alabama’s current state law, residents 19 or older are allowed to apply for permits at the county level. SB 5 would change that by allowing any individual who is legally able to own a gun to be able to carry it concealed without a license. Gun owners would still be barred from carrying weapons at a few places that are already prohibited by state and federal law, however. In addition, Alabama residents would still have the ability to obtain a concealed carry license for reciprocity purposes with states that also accept Alabama carry licenses.
Should the state legislature pass Constitutional Carry, the removal of mandatory permitting would go into effect three months later. TJ Martinell of the Tenth Amendment Center observed that SB 5 will be “officially introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary when the session begins on Feb 2.” The bill will have to obtain a majority vote in the committee before it can receive a vote in the full Senate.
Alabama has been a state that gun owners have recently targeted for constitutional carry. Although it’s a very solid Republican state, with a Republican governor and supermajorities in both chambers, it has been quite a chore for Alabama gun owners to pass Constitutional Carry. Gunpowder Magazine reached out to DJ Parten, Senior Regional Director at the National Association for Gun Rights, who shared the following thoughts on Alabama’s new Constitutional Carry bill:
“Alabama’s state motto is ‘We dare defend our rights,’ and we’d sure like to see the legislature defend our rights – especially our Second Amendment rights by restoring them first.
“ Passing a clean Constitutional Carry bill will do just that.
“Senate Bill 5 (Constitutional Carry) restores the right to carry a firearm in Alabama without first needing to beg a bureaucrat for permission or pay a tax for a permit.
“NAGR looks forward to working with lawmakers to pass this bill, or any other solid Constitutional Carry bill, and defend the rights of gun owners across the state. It’s high time Alabama joined the 16 states which already recognize Constitutional Carry as the law of the land.”
Although the 2020 elections ended in a controversial fashion, there will be plenty of opportunities at the state level for gun owners not only to pass solid pro-gun legislation, but also potentially resist federal overreach. Even in times of uncertainty, there are always unconventional avenues for gun owners to score victories. Constitutional Carry stands out as one of them.
José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.