Second Amendment advocates on Thursday were delivered a major victory as the Alabama Senate passed constitutional carry, or permitless carry legislation, by a vote of 23-6.
Sponsored by State Rep. Shane Stringer (R-Citronelle) in the House and carried in the upper chamber by State Sen. Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa), House Bill 272 enshrines Alabamians’ rights to carry a firearm without having to purchase a concealed carry permit.
After successful passage in the Senate, Allen hailed Stringer’s work in moving the bill through the legislative process.
“The Second Amendment affords protection to an American individual’s right to possess a firearm and to use that firearm for traditionally lawful purposes,” stated Allen. “As an elected official who swore to uphold the constitutions of this state and country, I will always do everything in my power to preserve the rights of Alabamians, especially those granted by the Second Amendment. I appreciate Representative Stringer’s work on this issue in the House, and I am proud to have worked alongside him to move this critical bill in the Senate. I look forward to finally delivering constitutional carry to the people of Alabama.”
The Republican-led effort was met with praise from Senate Pro Tem Greg Reed (R-Japer), who declared that the legislature’s majority party would “always stand for the constitution.”
“I’d like to thank Senator Gerald Allen and my Senate colleagues for their long-standing efforts that made today possible,” said Reed. “This piece of legislation has favorably passed the Senate for many years, and I’m grateful to see this culmination and stand strong for Alabamians’ Second Amendment rights. The Alabama Senate is proud to be leading the fight to defend the constitutional freedoms and liberties that hardworking families across our state hold dear. We will always stand for the Constitution and Alabama’s values.”
Senate Majority Leader Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville) said Republican lawmakers moved to act on the legislation after receiving feedback from the citizenry, which voiced its strong support of the measure.
“The permitless carry legislation passed today in the Senate exceedingly meets the needs and demands that have been raised for decades by Alabamians in all four corners of the state,” proclaimed Scofield. “The people of Alabama have articulated loud and clear their concerns for further protection of their Second Amendment rights, and Senate Republicans delivered. I am proud of the collaboration that took place within the Republican Caucus to ensure this bill is the best policy for our state, and I applaud my colleagues for prioritizing the voices of those they were elected to represent.”
House Bill 272 passed the lower chamber last week by a vote of 65-37-1. Given that the Senate passed a slightly different version of the bill, House lawmakers will need to agree to the changes before it heads to Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk for signature.
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL