Constitutional carry bill makes it to Alabama Senate floor
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Kennedy Chase
An Alabama Senate bill that would do away with concealed carry permits is one step closer to fruition after it passed the Alabama House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee last week. Now, Senate Bill 1, or SB1 moves to the Senate floor for discussion.
It’s been on the docket in some for or another for going on 10 years now, but the bill commonly known as the Constitutional Carry bill would give Alabama residents the ability to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.
State Sen. Gerald Allen is the bill’s author and said it’s past time Alabamians can protect themselves and their Second Amendment rights without having to pay for the privilege.
“The Second Amendment gives you and I and others the opportunity to carry a weapon to protect ourselves, our families and our business,” Allen said. “And it’s a right given to us from the founding fathers when they wrote the Second Amendment.”
But the proposed bill affects more than just gun owners. Local law enforcement agencies who distribute concealed carry permits stand to lose out on the money permits previously provided.
In addition, safety is a concern, said Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Byron Waid.
“We’ve got a lot of concerns about our schools, we’ve got concerns for mental health, and Tuscaloosa County is most at stake,” Waid said. “And, obviously, we’re concerned for the safety of our officers who are out in the street.”
As mental health concerns grow in Tuscaloosa County, allowing more people to carry hidden weapons or more easily purchase them means potential danger for the community and the law enforcement officers charged with keeping it safe.
“We know that we have fewer resources now and we certainly need resources for our mental health community,” said Waid.
Currently, 21 states in the U.S. have some form of Constitutional Carry bill.