Alabama residents will no longer be required to hold a permit to conceal and carry a handgun in the state. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) on Thursday signed the bill putting the change into law.
The bill was passed along party lines with major Republican support and Democrat opposition. It takes effect in January of next year, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
Ivey said she was defending Second Amendment rights in her state.
“Unlike most states who are doing everything in their power to make it harder for law abiding citizens, Alabama is reaffirming our commitment to defending our Second Amendment rights,” the governor said in a statement. “I have always stood up for the rights of law abiding gunowners, and I am proud to do that again.”
Alabama becomes the 22nd state to not require a permit to conceal and carry a firearm, according to the Pew Research Organization. Last year, six states — Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, Tennessee, Texas and Utah — passed bills bypassing the permit process for some firearms.
When Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed his state’s permitless carry law earlier this year, the Republican tweeted that “it shouldn’t be hard for law-abiding Tennesseans to exercise their” Second Amendment rights.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether New York’s gun permitting system violates the Second Amendment—a case that could gut firearm permit provisions nationwide.
Thie week, Georgia’s state House and Senate passed a similar bill not requiring a permit to conceal and carry a handgun, a measure expected to eventually be signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp (R).
The measure won support from the National Rifle Association (NRA), which said in a Thursday tweet that “Alabamians are safer for it.”
It also had the backing of some GOP former law enforcement officials in the state congress, AL.com reported.
If anyone with a gun can conceal it, it tends to make people a lot nicer, even criminals.
The permitless concealed carry states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia.