It’s beginning to feel a lot like the fight for Second Amendment rights is gaining ground. Although that feels weird to say, considering it’s a right in the Constitution, and we shouldn’t have to fight for it. But here we are. However, after Governor Kay Ivey signed house bill 272, constitutional carry became a reality in Alabama. And as of January 1, 2023, the new law took effect, marking half of the country as constitutional carry states.
Alabama Constitutional Carry Law Goes into Effect
On March 10, 2022, Gov. Kay Ivey signed the new permitless carry bill into law. Although there was controversy surrounding the bill, even from some in law enforcement, the new law took effect on January 1, 2023. Following the enactment of the new law, Alabama citizens no longer require a permit to carry a concealed pistol.
“Unlike states who are doing everything in their power to make it harder for law-abiding citizens, Alabama is reaffirming our commitment to defending our Second Amendment rights,” Ivey said. “I have always stood up for the rights of law-abiding gun owners, and I am proud to do that again today.”
As to be expected, Democrats decry the bill claiming it will increase gun violence. Likewise, the Alabama Sheriffs Association says permit requirements are an important public safety tool but have adjusted accordingly. But many appreciate Ivey for defending our Second Amendment rights. Even Republicans who were previously opposed to the legislation are on board due to provisions.
According to Fox News, “Republican lawmakers who previously opposed the legislation said they were more comfortable voting for it this time because the state was developing a “prohibited persons” database to help officers flag people who are banned from possessing a handgun because of their criminal history and other reasons. The database was mandated by an earlier state law creating an option to get a lifetime concealed carry permit.”
Constitutional Carry Permitted in Half the Country
Alabama was technically the 22nd state to enact a law recognizing constitutional carry. However, since it didn’t go into effect until the beginning of this year, it carried the United States into 2023, with 25 states now fully practicing it.
But, before you cut up your concealed carry permit, there are still legitimate reasons to maintain one. Specifically, reciprocity. Although half of the country exercises constitutional carry, the other half does not. And if you plan on traveling throughout the country, you will still need a permit in those states.
The legislation’s sponsor, Rep. Shane Stringer tells Fox News that “maintaining an Alabama concealed carry permit is wise when traveling out of state.”
Fox News continued, “Stringer noted that people should remember there continue to be places where weapons are banned entirely for security reasons, such as courthouses.”
The 25 states that currently have constitutional carry are:
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
In addition, Michigan, Louisiana, and South Carolina are currently considering, or likely to consider, constitutional carry, according to National Association for Gun Rights.
Although the Second Amendment already gives citizens the power to carry a concealed pistol, legislation like this is vital. While some would like to strip the constitution of the Second Amendment, states like Alabama are holding the line. Good on you, Governor Ivey.