Alabama 2nd Amendment advocates urge state to follow Idaho’s lead, move to permitless concealed carry
Before the Orlando tragedy on Sunday night, Idaho passed a law allowing its citizens ages 21 and older to concealed carry firearms without obtaining a permit. Now, Alabama Second Amendment activists are urging the Yellowhammer State to do the same.
There are only eight states that allow for permitless concealed carry: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Vermont, Wyoming and West Virginia.
In 2016, Alabama took many steps towards widening the scope of Alabamians Second Amendment rights. A bill pushed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) to allow retired military veterans to obtain a concealed carry permit for free passed with wide support and was signed by Governor Bentley (R-AL). Another bill, championed by Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa), allowing for Alabamians to carry pistols in their cars without a permit passed in the Senate, but died in the house as the regular session came to a close.
As of 2015, Alabama is the concealed carry capital of the United States, with over 12.6 percent of adults owning a permit. And the numbers are only growing. Jefferson County, for instance, is on track to issue almost 63 percent more pistol permits to women this year than last year.
With these patterns, it is likely that Alabama could join the eight other states in the union that allow for concealed carry without a permit. While Alabama fees vary from county to county, the price of one can be fairly expensive. A standard 5-year permit issued in Jefferson County costs $40, while the same permit in Baldwin, Coosa, DeKalb, Lowndes, and Macon Counties costs $125.
The current system states that gun owners must obtain a concealed carry permit from the county in which they live. But legislators attempted to allow Alabamians to get their permit in any county in the state, as long as they are not statutorily disqualified from doing so. That bill, SB304, died in the House at the end of the session despite passing unanimously in the Senate.
At the moment, nothing can be done on the issue because the legislature is no longer in session. Unless the governor calls for a special session, the possibility of concealed carry without a permit remains in limbo.