The gun-control advocacy group, Mom’s Demand Action, was among those present at the Capitol rally against permit-less carry on Tuesday.

A large assembly of various state organizations and advocacy groups assembled on the steps of the State House to speak out against permit-less carry, also called constitutional carry.

The Alabama Sheriff’s Association (ASA), the Association of County Commissions of Alabama, the Alabama Association of School Resource Officers, and others attended the rally. Among those attending were several members of the gun control group, Mom’s Demand Action (MDA).

According to the MDA website, “Moms Demand Action is a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence. We pass stronger gun laws and work to close the loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our families.”

MDA has been working with the ASA to fight against the constitutional carry bills currently in the Alabama Legislature. 

Harriet Huggins, a volunteer with MDA from Auburn, stated that the volunteers were present to address the carry bills in the legislature and provide further education on other gun-safety subjects.

“One of the important aspects of Mom’s Demand Action is what we call the Be Smart Program, and it’s a program designed for adults,” Huggins said. “And the whole aim of it is teaching about safe storage, modeling appropriate behavior, asking about the presence of guns in other people’s homes, recognizing the role of guns in suicide, and telling other people to be smart.”

Huggins stated that permit-less carry is currently the main agenda, but further legislative action would be desirous for MDA.

“We would love to have things like an extreme risk protection order bill passed,” said Huggins. "Actually, more than half of the gun deaths in Alabama are suicides. With an extreme risk protection order bill, somebody that’s subject to domestic violence, or somebody that knows somebody that’s in a bad way and needs not to have access to a gun, it could legally be taken away from them." 

According to Dana Ellis, another Volunteer with MDA from Hoover, the carry bills are dangerous and should be defeated. 

“We have approximately 4,000 people that are part of Mom’s Demand Action in Alabama,” Ellis said. "We try to educate the public on safe storage, on other issues with responsible gun ownership, and then we try to advocate for common-sense laws.

“Part of the permitting process for concealed carry weapons includes a criminal background check, and we think that’s the bare minimum that someone should have before they can legally carry a concealed weapon. If these bills pass, then individuals who could not pass a criminal background check will legally be able to carry a concealed weapon, which is not the case in the state right now.”

The bills before the legislature would not allow those who cannot pass a background check to legally carry a weapon. The bills retain the state and federal laws that prohibit certain persons from carrying a firearm; they remove the permitting process for carrying a loaded gun concealed or in a vehicle, which has a licensing fee. 

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