The legislative fight over permitless carry in Alabama is going to be awfully contentious for a state dominated by the Republican party, thanks in large part to the objections by some in law enforcement, but the odds of passage appear to be pretty good this year after the state’s House GOP caucus included Constitutional Carry in its list of legislative priorities this week.
Rep. Shane Stringer, R-Citronnelle, introduced legislation to do away with the requirement to get a permit — which requires a person to undergo a background check — to carry a concealed handgun in public or a loaded handgun in their car.
“I am a firm believer that law-abiding citizens should not be punished and forced to get a permit to carry a firearm, when the criminal element is not,” Stringer said.
Similar legislation has been introduced in Montgomery for the last five years. State sheriffs and other law enforcement officials have opposed the bills, arguing that the permits provide a crucial tool to combat crime and enhance public safety.
“There are those who do not need to be carrying concealed weapons in our restaurants, clubs and sports bars,” Mobile County Sheriff Cochran told the Mobile County Commission last month, according to al.com. “The biggest thing is safety of our citizens and officers.”
We’ve covered Cochran’s objections in the past, and I’m sure the sheriff is going to have plenty to say about permitless carry in the months ahead. This is a guy so opposed to the idea that he actually fired Rep. Shane Stringer from his position within the sheriff’s department because of Stringer’s sponsorship of a permitless carry bill, so he’s not likely to change his tune simply because the party in charge of the state’s House of Representatives has signaled their support for the measure.