Friday, January 14, 2022

Alabama May Pass Constitutional Carry in 2022



Alabama has strong support for passing a statute to restore Constitutional or "permitless" carry in 2022. 

Alabama passed a Constitutional amendment strengthening the former amendment protecting the right to keep and bear arms in 2014. 

"(a)  Every citizen has a fundamental right to bear arms in defense of himself or herself and the state. Any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.

(b) No citizen shall be compelled by any international treaty or international law to take an action that prohibits, limits, or otherwise interferes with his or her fundamental right to keep and bear arms in defense of himself or herself and the state, if such treaty or law, or its adoption, violates the United States Constitution."[4]

The Alabama legislature has been struggling with legislation to meet the promise of the Constitutional amendment ever since its passage. 

Alabama has been considering Constitutional Carry for years. The major stumbling block has been the sheriff's association opposition to permitless carry.

The Alabama Senate has passed Constitutional Carry bills more than once. The bills have failed in the Alabama House. That seems to have changed. The Republican Caucus for the Alabama House of Representatives has added Constitutional Carry as a priority for passage in 2022. Republicans control 3/4 of the seats in the Alabama House.   From the

Lawmakers have proposed bills to repeal the pistol permit requirement for years. They have passed the Senate but not the House. The endorsement by the GOP caucus indicates this could be the year a bill passes both chambers.

Advocates for the bill say the requirement to buy a permit violates Second Amendment gun rights. Sheriffs and police have generally opposed the repeal bills, saying the permit requirement is an important tool for law enforcement, partly because it requires background checks for permit applicants. The permit fees help sheriffs pay operating costs.

The sheriffs obtain the fees from the carry permits. It is a source of independent funds for sheriffs. One sheriff  went so far as to fire an Alabama Representative in 2017, because they were a prominent supporter of Constitutional carry. Depriving a man of his job because he disagrees with the sheriff's political views seems an extreme measure.  The punishment has not deterred Representative Shane Stringer.

Representative  Stringer, who was fired by Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran for supporting Constitutional Carry, is sponsoring Constitutional Carry this year. Alabama has a short legislative session length of 105 days. The session is scheduled to start on January 11, and to adjourn on April 25, 2022. 

This correspondent has not found a statement from Alabama Governor Kay Ivey for or against Constitutional Carry. Governor Ivey faces a primary election on May 24, 2022. If a Constitutional Carry bill passes the legislature, it will be on her desk before May 24. There are several  opponents in the primary election. It is difficult to see how a veto of Constitutional Carry would help her in the primary election. 

Alabama is a prime candidate of join the Constitutional Carry club in 2022.

We should know if Ohio is joining the Constitutional Carry club before then. Indiana is seriously considering Constitutional Carry again this year. Nebraska Senator Tom Brewer is pre-filing his Constitutional Carry legislation. LB 773, which lists 14 sponsors and co-sponsors in the 49 member unicameral Nebraska legislature.  An increase of 2-4 members of the Constitutional Carry club is easily possible in 2022.

©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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