TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama Senate has voted to allow people to carry a concealed handgun without getting a permit.
Senators approved the bill on a 25-to-8 vote on Tuesday afternoon, and now the bill moves to the house. According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 11 states allow people to carry concealed weapons in public without a permit.
Most of those states still issue concealed weapon permits, as would Alabama, for people who may want them to carry in other states.
Melissa Baisden is calling this a major victory for gun owners. She and her husband own Plus One Tactical Advantage gun store in Cottondale. They are also members of Bama Carry, a pro-gun rights advocates group.
“It simplifies the ability for the average everyday citizen to understand what is legal and what is not legal while transporting that firearm,” Baisden said.
Baisden says this decision from the Senate is a step in the right direction and is good for her customers.
“Many of [our] customers don’t understand the law, and if they leave here with a loaded gun without a permit and put it inside their vehicle they could possibly be subjected to criminal proceedings,” Baisden said. “If they get in trouble, or stopped by law enforcement they need to know the law, and this bill will help simplify things.”
Not everyone supports the legislation. Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy is against it. The Sheriff says it could jeopardize police officers.
“I am not in favor of this, because of the officer safety issues and mental health issues. Both are great concerns and need to be addressed,” Abernathy said. “We do have a great relationship with open carry groups like Bama Carry in Tuscaloosa County, but this is one we will have to agree to disagree on.”