After shots rang out at a vigil for gun violence victims in Mobile last week, four arrests were made and several guns were confiscated, two of which had been stolen. Three of the four people arrested were charged with not having a concealed carry permit. According to Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran, the actions taken by Mobile Police that night would not have been possible if permitless carry were already in effect.
“As most of you know, I fought hard to prevent permitless carry from passing in Montgomery. Our legislatures ignored the voices of Law Enforcement and passed the bill anyway,” Cochran said in a Facebook post from his office Thursday night.
Had permitless carry already been active last weekend, then there would be no arrest, no seizure of guns and no way of knowing whether or not those guns were stolen or used in other crimes.”
Earlier this month, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed permitless carry into law just hours after the legislation reached her desk. She did so over vocal objections from Alabama law enforcement, including the Alabama Sheriff’s Association and Police Chiefs Association. The law, which will eliminate Alabama’s permit requirement for carrying a concealed handgun in public, will go into effect on January 1, making it harder for law enforcement to maintain public safety. The permitting system was 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.
States that have weakened their firearm permitting system have experienced an 11 percent increase in handgun homicide rates and a 13–15 percent increase in violent crime rates. Permitless carry legislation has been staunchly opposed by law enforcement across the country. More information about the dangers of permitless carry is available here.
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.