House committee debates ending concealed carry permits in Alabama, takes no vote

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee this week heard testimony but took no vote on legislation aimed at ending the requirement for concealed carry pistol permits in Alabama.

HB414 by Rep. Isaac Whorton, R-Valley, is the companion bill to SB24 by Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa, which the Alabama Senate approved April 18. The Senate bill also is assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. After the lengthy public hearing, the committee’s chairman, Rep. Allen Treadaway, R-Morris, a Birmingham police captain, did not indicate when a vote on either version would take place.

Those opposing the legislation Wednesday were all law enforcement officials, while gun rights groups support it.

Should either bill become law, Alabama would be one of 11 states that allow people to carry a concealed handgun without a permit.

SB24 preserves business and other private property owners’ rights to prohibit someone from openly carrying a pistol onto their property. Based on an attorney general’s opinion, businesses also can ask someone with a concealed weapon – presuming they discover the person has a gun – to leave their premises.

The bill also preserves an existing ban on concealed weapons at demonstrations.

Under the legislation, Alabama residents could continue to apply for concealed weapon permits to take guns out of state. Under interstate agreements, Alabama permits are valid in other states.

The last major change to Alabama’s gun laws was in 2013. Learn more.

The House committee also heard testimony but took no action on HB410, which under certain circumstances would allow guns to be carried in government buildings, schools, colleges and buses, plus would further restrict rights of businesses concerning firearms. Other than the sponsor, no one spoke in favor of that legislation.

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