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Guest column: Permit requirement to carry pistol is not needed

Senate Bill 5 by Sen. Gerald Allen and House Bill 405 by Rep. Sorrell and co-sponsored by Rep. Kiel and 23 other House Representatives, have been introduced.

These bills, if passed into law, will rescind the requirement to have a permit to concealed carry a handgun or to carry or have a loaded handgun in a vehicle.

Currently, if you do not have a permit, you are required to unload and store the gun out of reach of all the people in the vehicle – not much help in a dangerous defensive situation.

The bills will not make any changes to who is forbidden by law to carry or possess. Permits would remain available for those that have a need for them, such as for traveling to other states. Actually, most gun-owners – 1-million-plus permit holders in Alabama – would continue to purchase a permit so as to be legal to carry in the other 32 states that have reciprocity agreement with Alabama.

We simply want our state to follow the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment and not “infringe” on our right.

At this time, at least 17 states have no permit requirement, with probably a couple more expected to pass as I write this.

Nothing bad has come from this in any of these states.

The people of Alabama recently voted overwhelmingly a change to our state Constitution making our “right to keep and bear arms” a “fundamental right.” See Section 26. Also, any restrictions of this right must meet “strict scrutiny.”

We’ve been trying to get this passed for several years. Our opposition has been from the Alabama Sheriffs Association and the County Commissioners Association. We believe it is because of their perceived loss of funds.

In other states that have passed this law, the permits issued have increased in number. The number of gun owners have increased by the millions in the past year, and so are permits.

The ASA claims no permit requirement would make the sheriffs’ and their deputies’ jobs more dangerous. We disagree.

We do not want our LEOs in more danger. BamaCarry Inc. supports our law enforcement officers, and we hold them in high regard. We know they are trained to approach a situation, such as a vehicle stop, as though it could be a dangerous event. This training would not change because of a change in the permit law, nor would this change bring any more danger upon these LEOs.

The people in a vehicle that has been pulled over by Alabama LEOs will do whatever they do, and the LEO will handle it in the manner in which he or she has been trained, no matter whether the people have a particular piece of paper or not.

Permit laws only affect the law-abiding citizen; bad guys don’t care about the law or permits. Bad guys do bad things; permits are not even a consideration for them.

These bills, if passed, will bring Alabama in line with the Constitution of the United States and put our state government more in the favor of its people, and the people across the U.S. will have more respect for our state.

We also have HB157 and SB 157 introduced. We ask for your support for these bills. We feel they are very important to the freedom of our great citizens of Alabama.

These Bills are to keep the feds out of our Alabama gun rights via the 10th amendment: All federal acts, laws, orders, rules and regulations, whether past, present or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution shall be invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, are specifically rejected by this state and shall be considered void and of no effect in this state.

All of these bills can be read at www.legislature.state.al.us/aliswww/default.aspx.

Please support and help by contacting representatives and senators in Montgomery and letting them know you want these bills passed.

Guest columnist Gary Blackburn is county group leader for Franklin County’s BamaCarry.

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