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Bill could allow permitless concealed guns in Alabama

Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 6:02 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Twenty-one states allow constitutional carry, meaning you can carry a concealed gun there without a permit, and Republican legislators want to add Alabama to that list.

The Alabama Sheriffs Association’s biggest concern about HB44 is that more dangerous people will be able to conceal their weapons and no one will know. But bill sponsor Rep. Andrew Sorrell says good and bad people are doing that anyway.

“If you walk in with a concealed gun, nobody knows. All the criminals are still carrying to the football game. I think we need some law-abiding citizens there to protect us,” said Sorrell.

Sorrell says people shouldn’t have to pay for their Second Amendment rights, and permitless carry would accomplish that. However, his bill won’t eliminate permits completely.

“Because you’re still going to have to have your permit if you want to go out of state with your weapon,” said Sorrell. “People are still not going to be able to carry a gun into a high school football game without a permit because that’s federal law.”

Robert Bobby Timmons is the executive director of the Alabama Sheriffs Association, and according to him, sheriffs around the state are against this legislation.

“As far as I know, yes, and I have not had one sheriff, not one, of the 67 sheriffs tell me they was for doing away with the permits,” said Timmons.

Timmons says permit fees aren’t the problem and that public safety is the biggest concern for sheriffs. In response, the National Association for Gun Rights launched a campaign to expose who they call anti-gun sheriffs.

“Sheriffs are elected officials in Alabama, and they’re actually up for election this go-around,” said Brenden Boudreau with the gun rights association. “And so the goal is to basically get them to realize that opposing constitutional carry is bad politics for them.”

Timmons said it’s not about being pro-gun.

“I’m a Golden Eagle NRA member, highest you can go,” he said. “I’m a lifetime, got a big certificate from the NRA. That don’t mean I have to agree with them.”

Along with this bill being backed by the NRA, it is also one of the priorities of the House Republican caucus, so Sorell is confident in its ability to pass, but the sheriffs won’t let it go without a fight.

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