MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Dec. 17, 2020) – A “Constitutional Carry” bill prefiled for the 2021 legislative session 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 5 (SB5) on July 30. Alabama state law currently allows residents 19 or older to apply for permits at the county level. 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 residents would still be able to acquire a concealed carry permit in order to carry in states that maintain CCDW reciprocity with Alabama.

If approved by the state legislature and signed into law, the change would take effect three months later. Last year, Allen filed similar legislation that failed to clear the state Senate after advancing from the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

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 SB5 would lower barriers for those wanting 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.

WHAT’S NEXT

SB5 will be officially introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary when the session begins on Feb 2. It will have to receive a majority vote in committee before moving forward in the legislative process.

TJ Martinell