Huntsville residents give opinions on pistol permit debate

WAAY 31 talked to residents in Huntsville so see what they think of the proposal to no longer require people to have a permit to carry a concealed handgun in Alabama.

Posted: Feb 4, 2019 5:47 PM

A Tuscaloosa lawmaker is ramping up efforts to do away with pistol permit requirements in Alabama. WAAY 31 talked to several people today in Huntsville and all of them said they don't approve of the new proposal. They said it could make it easier for guns to end up in the wrong hands.

"There's going to be a lot more criminals I think who can sneak in weapons," said Huntsville resident, Devin Brown.
"I'm not for more gun control, but I'm alright with the gun control we have in the state," said Huntsville resident, Ethan Lee.

These are the reactions WAAY 31 got when we asked about the pistol permit proposal. State senator Gerald Allen of Tuscaloosa, tells me he'll introduce the measure when lawmakers convene next month. If it passes, you would no longer be required to have a permit to carry a concealed handgun in Alabama. Some residents we talked to are against it.

"It's going to be bad all around for everybody," said Brown.

Others find it confusing.

"If i want to conceal carry a pistol, I mean, why can't I just carry it in the open if I don't need a permit for it?" said Lee.

Currently, Alabama residents don't need a permit to carry a gun in the open. The only requirement for a conceal carry permit is to pass a background check, and pay a fine. Senator Allen said he encourages people to get a permit, but doesn't think it should be mandatory.

"We must keep in mind that the Second Amendment was intended to, for individuals like yourself and others to be able to protect themselves, their families and their properties. It's very important that we not chip away at the Second Amendment," said Allen.

Senator Allen said any gun owner could still get a permit, which protects you when you cross state lines. They just wouldn't be required to have one. Residents WAAY 31 talked to expressed the need to still have a permit process.

"Conceal carry allows normal citizens that have good intentions of protecting themselves and others just to legally conceal carry and have a weapon of their choice on their side to watch their surroundings and take care of things if need be," said Brown.

WAAY 31 asked senator Allen if he thinks the bill will pass this year. He told us he thinks the house didn't approve it last year because of the money counties would lose if people weren't required to get permits. He said protecting the constitution is more important.

We reached out to the Madision County Sheriff's Office and Huntsville Police. Both agencies told us they need more time to read over the bill before commenting. In the past, Alabama sheriffs didn't support the measure because they rely on gun permit money.

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