We pride ourselves on being a state of responsible gun owners, but permitless carry begins dismantling Alabama’s culture of responsible gun ownership. Government issuing concealed carry permits is one of the few backstops we have to ensure responsible gun usage. HB 272 would take away a vital tool for law enforcement. One that works: to protect survivors of domestic violence, prevent people suffering from mental illness from gaining access to a more lethal means of harming themselves or others, and ensure that a person carrying a gun in public isn’t a criminal with a dangerous history.
Take it from the City of Opelika, where the police chief and sheriff have voiced opposition to permitless carry. Opelika Police Chief Shane Healey said, “In 2021, OPD made 78 cases for carrying a pistol without a valid permit. In the last five years, it had 333 cases; in the last ten years, 445 cases. In over 60% of these cases, it led to other charges such as assault, possession of stolen property, drug crimes, a plethora of things.”
If you don’t think those crimes are severe enough to be thankful a gun charge unearthed criminal histories, remember Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was initially arrested on a gun charge. Gun laws can get murderers and terrorists off the street. These laws help protect girlfriends and wives from the most extreme forms of domestic abuse, and they keep people with histories of mental illness from shooting themselves or others.
— Alabama State Rep. Neil Rafferty in Permitless carry would begin dismantling Alabama’s culture of responsible gun ownership