By Luke Brantley
The Alabama state legislature is currently discussing a bill that, if signed into law, would allow Alabamians to carry concealed weapons without a permit.
Currently, anyone who wants to carry concealed must get a permit from the county sheriff. Here in Marion County, it’s a relatively simple process of filling out a form, passing a background check then going to the sheriff’s office to get your picture taken and pay a small fee for the permit. That’s pretty much it.
The new law would make this process unnecessary, which would be convenient for a lot of people, and it would prevent sheriff’s from being able to discriminate who can and cannot exercise their Second Amendment rights. It also means the government wouldn’t have a list of registered concealed carry permit holders.
It sounds great, and there would be many benefits to this new law. But there’s one thing that lawmakers and supporters of this bill might not have considered.
Currently, most states in the southeast have reciprocating permit laws, meaning that a concealed carry permit from Alabama is valid in Florida, and vice versa. If I have an Alabama permit, I can carry a concealed weapon into North Carolina or Georgia with no issue. The problem with Alabama’s proposed new law is that, even if Alabama doesn’t require a permit, other states still do. Unless they pass similar laws, anyone in Alabama who wants to carry a concealed weapon across certain state lines is still going to need to get an Alabama permit.
I’m not opposed to the bill at all—the less government red tape I have to go through to exercise my constitutional rights, the better as far as I’m concerned. But I do think anyone who does carry concealed weapons needs to pay attention to the laws in other states if they plan on traveling there. That’s part of being a responsible gun owner.
I appreciate the idea behind this new bill, but for anyone who plans on crossing certain state lines with their concealed weapon, it doesn’t really do anything for them. It’s a good idea, but I don’t think it will work fully as intended until other states follow suit with similar legislation. Tennessee and Mississippi already have constitutional carry laws in place.
Right now is a pivotal time for gun rights in America. Constitutional carry is a matter of discussion in several states at the moment. There’s also been a recent supreme court case regarding New York’s laws that ban concealed carry and whether that’s a violation of the Second Amendment.
As a gun owner myself, I’m interested to see where some of these court cases go. They could have major implications on gun rights going forward.
See complete story in the Journal Record.