Last week the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would repeal Alabama’s pistol permit requirements and moved it into consideration for a vote in the Senate.

Currently in Alabama, carrying a concealed weapon requires a permit issued by the county sheriff.

This bill would eliminate state requirements to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

The bill’s sponsor, Senator Gerald Allen from Tuscaloosa says people should not have to get permission for an activity that is protected by the Second Amendment. He says criminals don’t buy permits and the law restricts law-abiding citizens.

As many as 16 states now have laws allowing residents to carry a concealed weapon without obtaining a permit.

Pro-gun groups have said it is an important constitutional issue to allow someone to carry a weapon without additional restrictions.

The bill has been named “constitutional carry” by its supporters.

Alabama law enforcement officials have publicly opposed the bill.

Two Alabama county sheriffs spoke against the bill saying the permit requirement is an important tool for law enforcement and the deregulation could prove dangerous for police and the public.

The sheriff of Montgomery spoke in opposition to the repeal of the permit law saying if someone is caught with a gun without a permit, law enforcement can take the gun and the people off the streets before a crime is committed.

Nothing gets people more stirred up than the topic of gun legislation.

You can ban abortions, transgender treatments and even Santa Claus, but if you dare to suggest any type of regulation for gun ownership, you might as well buy yourself a ticket for one of those coronavirus cruises.

It is odd that those same extremists are so liberal in their views on the second amendment.

The suggestion that there should be no accountability for those who want to carry a concealed weapon is incomprehensible.

The Second Amendment is about more than gun ownership.

While it is clear the constitution guarantees the right to bear arms, history teaches us there are all kinds of ways to interpret that right.  The NRA doesn’t own the rights to interpretation.

Carrying around a concealed weapon should at least be as regulated as driving a car.

Every state requires a license to drive a car, yet 16 states no longer require a permit to carry a concealed gun. 

All states require drivers to pass a driving test.  No state will issue a driver’s license unless you pass a vision test, a written test and an in-person road test.

A drivers’ license application can be denied based on driving ability and failure to follow law.  Yet the legislature wants to allow someone with a violent criminal background to carry a gun with no accountability because it restricts their gun rights?

The rest of us have a right to protection from being shot with one of those guns. 

Studies show that carrying a loaded weapon changes how people perceive their environment.  Only a fraction of people who get concealed permits ever use their guns.

Carrying a concealed weapon comes with the explicit understanding the owner may kill someone when their life is threatened.  That understanding should come with some type of law enforcement oversight.

Life and death are serious business.

Eighty-eight percent of Americans support permits for carrying concealed handguns in public.

In many states, people with convictions for certain violent crimes and weapons offenses are disqualified from getting a concealed carry permit.  If permits are not required, these convicted criminals could legally be allowed to carry a gun.

Without permit requirements, law enforcement’s ability to deny a permit to people who pose a risk to citizens is taken away, putting lives at risk.

We count on the police to keep up safe and taking away this barrier could be dangerous.

 Being required to get a permit is not a restriction on gun owners.  Licenses and permits are part of how we operate.  Your car requires registration papers and you can’t even throw a fishing line without a license.

Gun owner advocates repeatedly tell us that it is people, not guns that kill.  Then they should support any measure that keeps even one gun out of the hands of a violent offender.

This same type of bill has been introduced for several years and defeated each time.  That needs to be the outcome once again.

Concealed permit laws promote responsible gun ownership and ensure core public safety standards are enforced when people carry guns.

Standards are a necessary part of our society and permits for concealed handguns should be part of that.

Anita McGill is a former publisher of The Sentinel. She can be reached by email at anitamcgill99@gmail.com.

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