There is heavy speculation that permitless carry (called Constitutional carry by Second Amendment rights activists) could be on the special-order calendar in the legislature. The Alabama House’s Rules Committee will meet Tuesday to set the calendar.

House Bill 272 is sponsored by State Rep. Shane Stringer (R-Satsuma). HB272 passed the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday with an eight to five vote. 

The bill would allow all adult Alabamians, who have not lost their gun rights, to carry a loaded handgun concealed on their person or in their automobile without purchasing a pistol permit.

The House Rules Committee Chairman is Mike Jones (R-Andalusia). Jones recently told the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action that he supports Constitutional carry.

“I am a member of the Alabama House of Representatives [and] also a lifetime member of the NRA,” said Jones. “Right now, in Alabama, only the criminals are carrying without a permit, frankly, and they are going to keep carrying whether you have a permit or not. This is really about legal citizens, normal ordinary people being able to carry their gun with them, so they have the ability to defend themselves. I am proud to stand with the NRA in passing constitutional carry in Alabama.”

Jones is a candidate for State Senate District 31. Jones faces Josh Carnley and Stormin Norman Horton in the May 24th Republican primary.

The NRA-ILA supports the legislation.

“Constitutional carry strengthens Alabamians’ right to self-defense by allowing any law-abiding adult who is at least 21-years-old and legally eligible to obtain a carry permit, to carry a handgun without first having to obtain government permission,” the Second Amendment rights advocacy group said in a statement on its website. “This ensures that citizens have their right to self-defense without red tape, delays, or fees. It does not change who is eligible to obtain a carry permit. It also does not affect previously issued permits, and allows citizens who still wish to obtain a permit in order to carry in other states recognizing Alabama’s permits, to do so.” 

The legislation is opposed by the Alabama Sheriffs Association, the County Commissions Association of Alabama, and Moms Demand Action on Gun Sense.

“The Alabama House Public Safety Committee just chose gun extremists over public safety,” said Harriette Huggins, a volunteer with the Alabama chapter of Moms Demand Action. “They’ve disregarded the expertise of law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day, and they’ve jeopardized the wellbeing of our families and communities. If their job is to keep us safe, they’re failing miserably.”

Opponents argue that permitless carry will mean more Alabamians are carrying guns making life in Alabama even more dangerous, particularly for law enforcement officers making traffic stops. Supporters discount those claims and argue that other states that have passed permitless carry have not seen violent crime increase afterward.

If and when the House takes up HB272, it will face a steep bar in the House. A key first test will be the budget isolation resolution (BIR). It takes a three-fifths vote of the members present to pass the BIR. If the bill fails on the BIR then it can’t be brought up for debate. House Democrats are likely to filibuster. To cloture a filibuster also requires a supermajority.

Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) has told reporters that the House will get this done. Concealed carry legislation is also possible in the Alabama Senate. The Senate has passed concealed carry several times in the past. It has never been debated on the House floor.

Approximately 1,090 people Alabamians die by guns each year, with 51% of those deaths being from suicide. Alabama has a death by gun rate of 22.4 deaths per 100,000 people, the fourth-highest rate in the nation. A rate of 12.2 deaths per 100,000 people is the national average. During the pandemic over the last two years, those numbers were significantly higher.

Tuesday will be day 13 of the 2022 Alabama Regular Legislative Session.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email