Alabama hopes to become the 22nd permitless carry state in the union with the passing of Alabama House Bill HB272. The bill was passed early this month with 23 representatives voting “yea” and the remaining 6 voting “nay” after a 90-minute debate between representatives of Alabama’s senate. Permitless carry has become increasingly popular throughout the United States as it removes several barriers for law-abiding citizens looking to carry a concealed weapon for personal defense. Although a healthy majority of representatives voted to pass the bill, a handful voted no citing concerns by law enforcement.
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The Fire Rises – Permitless Carry Bill Approved by AL Senate (HB272)
HB272 would remove legal penalties for Alabama citizens who are carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. Firearms owners can still purchase concealed carry permits for out-of-state travel purposes and would still need to acquire a concealed carry permit to carry a concealed weapon in specific areas. The bill also eliminates restrictions surrounding the transportation and carrying of loaded firearms within arms reach while inside a motor vehicle.
Opponents of the bill state the passing of this bill will negatively impact the state’s budget by removing revenue that would normally go to the state. Other opponents such as Senator Vivian Davis Figures stated attempted to appeal to the emotions of her fellow representatives by stating “Mark my word, the blood of those people will be on your hands because we tried to tell you.”
Supporters meanwhile have stated that this bill was very important to them. Senator Gerald Allen is quoted as saying “no one should pay a dime (for gun permits) It wasn’t meant for us to pay a fee, a tax or anything for us to arm ourselves, to protect ourselves, our families. It’s a right, it’s not a fee.”
Now that the bill has passed the senate, it is about 50% to being made into law. The next steps will be for the bill to go to the Alabama House for concurrence or a conference committee. If the bill goes through and gets signed into law, permitless carry for Alabama’s citizens can go into effect as early as January 1st of 2023.