On Jan. 1, 2023, Alabama became the 26th state to allow permitless concealed carry of firearms, much to the angst of the Alabama Sheriffs Association.
As for gun rights advocates, who call it “constitutional carry,” they see it as a victory for the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
“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,” Alabama state Rep. Shane Stringer, the legislation’s sponsor, said. according to the Daily Mail.
The Alabama Sheriffs Association opposed the legislation, saying conceal carry permits and a background check were important safeguards for the public and for law enforcement — permit fees helped fund sheriffs’ operations.
“Alabama sheriffs are clear on the law taking effect Jan. 1 and have adjusted accordingly,” Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones, president of the Alabama Sheriffs Association, said, according to the British newspaper.
He also noted that residents can still get concealed carry permits from their county sheriffs, explaining why that was a good idea.
“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,” Jones said.
Retired firefighter Eddie Fulmer, president of BamaCarry, a not-for-profit gun rights organization that pushed the bill, celebrated the law taking effect.
“The most important thing in this bill is that Alabamians have regained some of the freedoms that the founding fathers would have never given up,” Fulmer told AL.com. “And while it’s not everything we would like to have, it’s a large step in the right direction.”
Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham opposed the bill and said he worries that people will misunderstand the scope of what changed, according to AL.com.
“Some people, now they feel they can go anywhere with a gun like the wild, wild west,” Cunningham said. “And you can’t. They’ve still got certain restrictions. Like being able to go into governmental buildings. Going into schools. Going to athletic events and things of that nature. We’ve got to make sure that we educate people. I’m scared that people think now they can just do whatever they want to with their guns.”
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