MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A bill to get rid of concealed carry pistol permit requirements cleared the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 6 to 4 Thursday morning.
The bill would eliminate concealed carry pistol permit requirements but it would still allow someone to get a permit if they wanted to.
Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa, has brought the bill forward on multiple occasions.
Supporters say it is their constitutional right to carry a concealed weapon without buying a permit from the government. They believe the permit only restricts law-abiding citizens while criminals will not go through the proper channels to carry legally.
“As a woman, I need all the help I can get as far as being able to protect myself," said Beth Alcazar with BamaCarry. "And a lot of the women I teach, they are new to firearms. Maybe they are in situations where they are strapped for money. Maybe they don’t even understand the system.”
Law enforcement agencies say they use the permit requirements to help catch criminals. Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham said if someone has a gun but does not have a permit, law enforcement can take people off the street before they commit a crime.
“Don’t remove a tool that law enforcement needs to rid potential criminals off the street,” Cunningham said.
Before the vote, Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, asked Allen what he would do to move the bill through the House. Ward expressed concern that the Senate has moved it in the past, but the legislation consistently fails in the other chamber.
The bill now heads to the full Senate for a vote.