The Alabama chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action issued the following statement after the Alabama House voted to pass HB 272, dangerous legislation to eliminate Alabama’s permit requirement for carrying a concealed handgun in public. This legislative session, state lawmakers have introduced several permitless carry bills — all of which have been widely opposed by Alabama law enforcement. The permitting system is one of Alabama’s last remaining public safety guardrails, and experts have warned that eliminating it will only serve to exacerbate the already unacceptable rate of gun violence in the state.
“Today’s decision flies in the face of the law enforcement officers who have committed their lives to protecting us,” said Susan Kirkpatrick, a volunteer with the Alabama chapter of Moms Demand Action. “The Alabama House has ignored research, reason, and expertise — choosing violence over public safety and jeopardizing the wellbeing of our communities. This vote has moved us another step in the opposite direction of where we should be headed.”
Instead of actively working to dismantle Alabama’s firearm laws, state lawmakers should focus on passing much-needed gun safety bills that would reduce gun deaths and save lives, like legislation to require secure firearm storage and fund community violence intervention programs.
Alabama scores only 18 out of 100 for gun law strength while suffering the 2nd-highest rate of gun violence in the country. In an average year, 1,090 people die by guns in the state, and 3,422 more are wounded. Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Alabama. More information about gun violence in Alabama is available here.