Spring 2017 Editorial Board
Alabama Senate Bill 24 would allow people to carry a concealed firearm without a permit within state lines. It was recently approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and it’s now on the way to the Senate floor. We hope to see the bill’s demise. If it passes, we are concerned Alabama will become a more dangerous place to live.
It would loosen restrictions on carrying guns near courthouses, jails, prisons and other government facilities. Additionally, gun owners would be allowed to carry firearms at organized protests.
Allowing this is especially bad given the typical context protests operate within: an atmosphere of discontent and sometimes anger that could culminate into violence.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Lineville, defends it by claiming it would serve to protect the Second Amendment. Specifically, Allen claims removing the need for a permit and the background check getting a permit entails would clarify to people their right to bear arms is given to them by the Constitution.
Removing background checks from the process is a move that will serve to place more guns into the hands of people who should not have them.
It’ll also make it easier for good citizens to carry guns without other people knowing, which has been the center of the message Sen. Allen is conveying.
It is our view that the disastrous consequences of having more guns in the hands of people who may be mentally or emotionally unfit to have concealed weapons outweighs the convenience of everyone else who wants to have a concealed gun without having to pay a small permit fee and undergo a background check.
Lee County’s Sheriff Jay Jones also stands against the bill, stating, “It would increase the likelihood of individuals having firearms that shouldn’t have them in the first place.”
Paying a small fee of $5-20 and having to undergo a background check is a small price to pay for protecting Alabamians from gun violence, and no amount of personal convenience can diminish that fact. Moreover, to forego life-saving background checks and to disguise it to Alabama’s voters by claiming it’s what our Founding Fathers would’ve wanted is immoral.