By Dean Weingarten | GunWatch
In 2014, Alabama clarified and strengthened the state constitution’s provision protecting the right to keep and bear arms. The amendment passed with 72% of the the vote.
Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) is working to translate the promise of the state Constitutional amendment into law. He says he will keep on filing Constitutional Carry bills until one is passed.
In 2017, the Alabama Senate passed a Constitutional Carry bill, SB2, 26-8. In 2018, SB3 died in committee.
In January of 2019, Senator Allen pre-filed SB4, which is the fourth attempt to pass Constitutional Carry in Alabama.
In the state of Alabama, concealed carry permits are issued at the county level. Sheriff’s have discretion over how much they charge for the permits. By law, funds received for CC permits are collected by the sheriff & retained by him. They are not part of his normal budget. They go into a discretionary fund and the sheriff has sole authority over it. He can buy body armor or he can buy beer for an office picnic.
The Alabama Sheriff’s Association has fought this for a long time with histrionic predictions of blood in the streets.
Alabama is an open carry state. Adults that can legally own a gun can carry pistols openly, without a permit. The difficulty with open carry in Alabama, is that people are not allowed to open carry in a vehicle, unless they have a permit. This makes open carry without a permit inconvenient and unsafe, as the law also requires that pistols carried in a vehicle, without a permit, must be unloaded and locked up.
Constantly loading and unloading a pistol when getting in and out of a vehicle increases the chances of an accident.
Alabama has a short legislative session, to limit the damage the legislature can do. This year it starts on the first Tuesday in March, and meets for a maximum of 30 days with a session limit of 105 calendar days. Alabama has a Republican Governor. Republicans have strong majorities in the Senate and in the House.
Constitutional Carry has strong support in the Alabama legislature. The Sheriffs Association also has strong support.
Senator Allen says he has the votes to pass SB4 in the Senate. From alreporter.com:
Great crowd,” Allen told AM 770’s David Pinkelton. “I am a member myself. I am carrying a great bill: Senate Bill four. I encourage everyone to call the House members. We have the votes in the Senate to pass this.
Make that phone call to the Speaker’s office,” Allen said. “Fourteen states have passed constitutional carry. Where it has passed the sale of permits has gone up.
Constitutional Carry will pass in Alabama when supporters of the bill overcome the opposition of the Alabama Sheriff’s Association.