A bill that would add Alabama to the list of states that allow people to carry a concealed handgun without a permit advanced through the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.There were numerous Second Amendment supporters speaking in favor of the bill. Many said the should not have to pay or ask for government permission to exercise a Constitutional right.
The committee voted 6-3 for the bill after a fiery public hearing with law enforcement officers largely opposing it and gun rights groups speaking in favor of it. The bill now moves to the Senate floor.
Those speaking against the bill were a faction of law enforcement, mainly Sheriffs. They claimed the bill would remove an important tool of law enforcement. Not all sheriffs were against the bill. Some spoke for it, claiming that it only supported Second Amendment rights.
Some supporters of the bill say that Sheriffs oppose it because they are the recipients of the concealed carry permit fees. From comments at legiscan.com:
Pistol permits have been the sacrid cash cow for Alabama Sheriffs for too long. Their opposition is not public safety, but loss of the almost unchecked use of the funds these permits generate. NO one person should have the power to take away a right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. That power allows Sheriffs to not issue a permit to a person based on personal, political, or many other issues that have nothing to do with public safety.Alabama is on track to be the second state to pass Constitutional carry this year. New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed a bill that brought New Hampshire into the Constitutional carry club on 22 February, 2017.
North Dakota and Kentucky are in the race to be the second state to join the Constitutional carry club as well.
There are 12 current members. They are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont, Wyoming, and West Virginia.
Several other states have legislation introduced or in process. Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Virgina, Utah, and Wisconsin are all considering Constitutional carry. That list may increase as the year progresses. Montana passed a "permitless" carry bill for the third time this year. The bill would have extended "permitless" carry to the 1% of the state where a permit is required, but it was vetoed for a second time by Governor Bullock.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.