MONTGOMERY, Ala. (March 6, 2020) Yesterday, an Alabama Senate committee passed a “Constitutional Carry” bill that would make it legal for Alabama residents to carry a firearm without a license in the state, fostering an environment hostile to federal gun control.
Sen. Gerald Allen (R- Tuscaloosa) prefiled Senate Bill 1 (SB1) on Oct. 1. Under the proposed law, anyone who is legally allowed to own a gun could carry it concealed without a state-issued license. However, gun owners would still be restricted from bringing weapons to certain places already prohibited by state and federal law. Alabama state law currently allows residents 19 or older to apply for permits at the county level.
Alabama residents would still be able to acquire a concealed carry permit in order to carry in states that maintain CCDW reciprocity with Alabama.
On March 5, the House Judiciary Committee passed SB1 by a 6-4 vote.
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 SB1 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.
SB1 will now move to the Senate floor for further consideration. HB404 must first pass out of committee before moving forward.
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