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Alabama legislature’s lifetime concealed carry bill goes to Gov. Ivey

A holstered handgun. (Al Behrman/TNS)

The Alabama House of Representatives on Thursday gave final approval to legislation that would allow applications for lifetime concealed carry permits and create a statewide database of people prohibited from holding them.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Randy Price, R-Opelika, passed on a 69 to 18 vote. It goes to Gov. Kay Ivey.

Price’s bill would allow sheriffs to issue a lifetime concealed carry permits. Concealed carry permits are currently limited to one to five years. Sheriffs would be allowed to set a certain number of years for a concealed carry permit holder to apply for lifetime permit. The issuance of such a permit would be subject to criminal background checks and any information from other databases.

“It does more than just create lifetime carry,” said Rep. Proncey Robertson, R-Mount Hope, who carried the bill in the House. “It organizes and brings the procedure to a more standardized version.”

A sheriff would have 30 days to respond to an application, and could deny it based on mental incapacity, false statements on the application, or a “justifiable concern for public safety.” The sheriff would have to run background checks on lifetime permit holders at least once every five years.

The bill sets a fee for a lifetime permit at $300, though it could be reduced if a permit holder’s previous license is about to expire. The fee is $150 for those 60 years old and older. It would be waived for active or retired military or law enforcement.

Price’s legislation also creates a “prohibited persons” database that would allow law enforcement to access a list of individuals denied permits.

Some Democrats asked if the state could do more to reduce gun violence.

“When you go see a mother who has lost a son or a daughter to gun violence, senseless gun violence, it’s happening too much,” said Rep. Ralph Howard, D-Greensboro.

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