On New Year’s Day, the state of Alabama will begin allowing people to carry concealed handguns without a permit.
According to the Associated Press, the legislation states that an officer can still “temporarily take a weapon if it is necessary for the safety of the officer or others. The weapon must be returned unless there is an arrest, or the person is posing a safety threat.”
The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action says that constitutional carry is now legal in 25 states.
“It’s going to be a big step to help the average law-abiding citizen to keep them from having to go through the hoops of getting a permit to carry their weapons,” Rep. Shane Stringer, the legislation’s sponsor, told AP. “It’s not going change who can and cannot carry a gun. People that are prohibited now are still prohibited.”
The bill was quickly signed by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey as soon as it was passed.
The Alabama Sheriffs Association opposed the legislation, claiming that constitutional carry laws cause crime to rise and stop individuals from voluntarily obtaining permits.
“It’s sad that certain sheriffs are actually fighting against restoring gun rights to law-abiding Alabamians,” Dudley Brown, National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR)’s president, told Yellow Hammer News last January.
Brown continued, “Constitutional Carry laws simply recognize what we all know to be true – that the government should not force you to get a permit in order to carry a handgun.”
“Spreading lies and inciting fear in an attempt to kill a pro-gun bill is the same kind of underhanded tactics we see from radical leftists across the nation,” Brown added. “It’s a shame that many sheriffs in Alabama have resorted to this. That’s why we’re mobilizing our members in supporters in Alabama – cranking up the pressure to make Alabama the 22nd Constitutional Carry state.”
After the law was passed, Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones, president of the Alabama Sheriffs’ Association, urged people to still get permits, saying that “maintaining an Alabama concealed carry permit is wise when traveling out of state; reciprocity applies — other states may require non-residents to have a permit from their state of residence.”
The law amends a 1975 Alabama code to delete language pertaining to carrying a visible pistol, review penalties for carrying weapons unlawfully and deletes language surrounding the practice of carrying a concealed pistol.
Additionally, the law revises restrictions for carrying or possessing a pistol on private property and revises the definition of a shotgun. Residents will be permitted to carry a pistol, holstered or otherwise secured on or about one’s person, without brandishing the weapon, in a public place.