MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Feb. 5, 2022) – On Wednesday, an Alabama Senate committee passed a bill that would legalize permitless carry of concealed firearms in the state, despite intense law enforcement opposition. The enactment of the legislation would also foster an environment more hostile to federal gun control.

Sen. Gerald Allen (R) introduced Senate Bill 1 (SB1) on Jan. 11. Under the proposed law any law-abiding adult legally eligible to obtain a carry permit could carry a handgun without first having to obtain government permission. 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 Feb. 2, the House Judiciary Committee passed SB1 by a 6-4.

A similar bill passed the Judiciary Committee last year but was never brought up for a vote on the Senate floor.

SB1 passed committee despite intense law enforcement opposition. The Alabama Sheriffs Association (ASA) has teamed up with Moms Demand Action to oppose permitless carry in Alabama.

“Our job is to ensure law and order and to ensure that our communities are safe,” Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said during a committee hearing. “This legislation would limit us in that regard. It would take away a valuable tool that we use every day.”

According to Alabama Political Reporter, “Sheriffs rely on the pistol permit income in their budgets. The Alabama Sheriffs Association has opposed permitless/constitutional carry for years, claiming that it would make traffic stops less safe for officers.”


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 “constitutional carry” lower barriers for those wanting the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourage a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.


SB1 will move to the Senate floor for further consideration.

Mike Maharrey

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