MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Yesterday, Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) pre-filed legislation in the Alabama State Senate to allow Alabamians to lawfully carry guns without a permit. Allen’s permitless carry proposal would remove a needless restriction on Alabamians’ Second Amendment rights and make it easier for citizens to protect and defend their families and property.
“Alabama should be leading the way on constitutional gun rights. More than ten states across the country already allow their citizens to carry guns without a permit. It’s time we give our citizens the right to bear arms without first seeking the government’s permission,” Allen said. “We already allow open carry without a permit, and there is no logical reason for continuing to require a permit for concealed carry.”
Under Allen’s proposal, the requirement for a permit would be repealed, but Alabamians could still apply for a pistol permit in order to carry a gun in states that have reciprocity laws with Alabama. Currently, Alabama conceal-carry permit holders can carry guns in Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida, among other states, due to state reciprocity laws. A pistol permit holder would also retain the benefit of foregoing a background check when purchasing firearms.
“You will still need a permit if you’re going to legally carry a gun in other states, so I anticipate that a large majority of gun owners in Alabama will continue to purchase a permit from their local sheriff,” Allen remarked. “My goal is to remove unnecessary burdens on law-abiding citizens who own and carry guns, since most criminals and thugs don’t bother applying for a permit anyways.”
Under Allen’s legislation, Alabama businesses would still have the right to post “gun-free zone” signs, and prohibitions would remain on concealed or open carry in most government buildings and at athletic events.
“The law-abiding citizens of Alabama have a fundamental, constitutional right to keep and bear arms. The NRA supports legislation that would provide law-abiding citizens greater freedom to protect themselves in the manner that best suits their needs, while still keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals,” said Lacey Biles, National Rifle Association Director of State and Local Affairs.
The 2017 session of the Alabama Legislature will begin on February 7th.
Senator Gerald Allen represents District 21 in the Alabama State Senate, which is comprised of all or parts of Tuscaloosa, Pickens, and Lamar Counties. He is chairman of the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee. Follow him on Twitter for the latest legislative updates: @SenGeraldAllen