Public hearing postponed on bill to eliminate concealed carry permits in Alabama

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By Lauren Walsh, ABC3340

Proposed gun rights legislation brought lots of law officers and crime victim advocates to the State House

Wednesday, for a public hearing on a bill that would eliminate the requirement for concealed carry permits.

However, the Senate Judiciary Committee ran out of time before the public hearing could begin.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Cam Ward (R- Alabaster), promised the constitutional carry bill will be the first bill considered in his meeting next week.

Sheriffs from across Alabama were among those in the crowd prepared to oppose the bill, including Sheriff Kevin Williams from Marion County.

“It’s a public safety risk when you do away with background checks,” said Williams. “It’s very important to us and our office. There’s people out here that may not have a criminal record that may be mentally ill type situations.”

The grassroots group Mothers Demand Action was also highly visible at the State House Wednesday, speaking against the bill. Dana Ellis drove from Birmingham.

“I only want people carrying guns who can pass a criminal background check,” she explained. “If someone can’t pass a criminal background check, I don’t want to be sitting in a restaurant at a table next to them with someone having a concealed gun in their pocket.”

The bill’s sponsor, Senator Gerald Allen (R- Tuscaloosa) believes his bill would actually increase safety.

He says people shouldn’t have to pay for a permit- to exercise their second amendment right.

“It’s important for us as law abiding citizens, who respect the rule of law, to understand how important the second amendment is, to defend your personal property, and your family and your business,” said Allen.

Allen emphasized his bill would still allow gun owners the option to purchase a permit. It would just not be required.

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