MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Feb. 4, 2019) – A “Constitutional Carry” bill prefiled in the Alabama Senate would make it legal for state residents to carry firearms concealed without a license, fostering an environment hostile to federal gun control.
Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa), filed Senate Bill 4 (SB4) on Jan. 15. The legislation would repeal several statutes relating to carrying firearms and would allow any law-abiding adult who can legally possess a firearm to carry a concealed weapon without having to first obtain a permit. SB4 would still allow Alabama residents to obtain a concealed carry license so they can carry in states that have conceal carry reciprocity with Alabama.
If passed, SB4 would take a small step returning to the original vision of the founders, in which citizens had a duty to be armed rather than need permission to carry. In the original 13 colonies, all but Quaker (pacifist) Pennsylvania required able-bodied men to have a working musket and respond to musters. It’s why George Mason said at the Virginia Ratifying Convention that the militia was “the whole of the people, except for a few public officials.” The Founders wanted militia to defend the colonies, not a standing military that could threaten liberties
EFFECT ON FEDERAL GUN CONTROL
While permitless carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, the widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway.
The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”
Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.
State actions such as passing SB4 would lower barriers for those wanting to the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.
SB4 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, where it must pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.
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