With the start of the new year, Alabama officially allows people to carry concealed guns without a license, meaning some form of “constitutional carry” has now been enacted in half of all states.
Alabama now allows people to carry a loaded, concealed handgun – or transport one in a vehicle – without a permit and background check that were previously required, Al.com reported. The law passed after years of lobbying from gun rights activists, despite pushback from law enforcement that it would put the public in danger.
That puts Alabama on a list with 24 other states that have passed so-called “constitutional carry” laws, as tracked by the U.S. Concealed Carry Association. Such laws allow anyone who can legally possess a firearm to carry a handgun with no permit, but sometimes with conditions.
“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,” Gov. Key Ivey said after signing the bill. “I have always stood up for the rights of law abiding gunowners, and I am proud to do that again today.”
More than one-third of Americans live in states with some form of “constitutional carry” law.
Only Vermont and Alaska were taking that expansive approach to gun rights 13 years ago, Huffington Post reported. But more and more states have been passing laws geared toward “constitutional carry,” with 11 just in the last three years. Last year saw Georgia, Indiana and Ohio join the list.
The Alabama law also required the creation of a “Firearms Prohibited Person” database that notifies law enforcement of people who should not have firearms, local outlet WIAT reported.
Permits can still be acquired in Alabama for carrying a concealed weapon out of state.
The U.S. states that have “constitutional carry” laws are: