February 22, 2022–11:04 p.m.
The Alabama House of Representatives could be voting this week on legislation that would do away with the requirement for persons to get a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public.
House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said there is a good chance representatives will vote on the bill as early as Tuesday. House Republicans – who hold a large majority in the chamber – have named the legislation as a priority for the year. That bill would do away with permits for people who carry a handgun under their clothing or in a purse or bag when they go in public and it would do away with the current requirement for people without concealed carry permits to keep the handguns unloaded and secured when driving.
That bill is being championed by gun-rights groups, who argue people shouldn’t have to get a permit which requires paying a fee to carry a handgun they legally own. State sheriffs and other law enforcement officials have opposed the legislation; they argue that permits provide a crucial tool to combat crime and enhance public safety.
If approved in the House, the bill will then go to the Senate; there are 21 states which currently allow concealed weapons in public without a permit.