Lawmakers continue to push back against Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed's attempts to avoid responsibility for the growing crime in Montgomery by blaming the state for passing constitutional carry in 2022.

After a series of violent crimes rocked the city in recent months, residents and statewide observers have looked at Montgomery leadership wanting answers.

From a triple homicide at a Hispanic grocery store, a highway shootout that left an innocent woman paralyzed from the neck down, government buildings being riddled with bullets, and a mass shooting that left 13 injured, things are not looking good for the city as it heads into the hottest summer months.

SEE: Mother of paralyzed Montgomery shooting victim calls out city council — 'Crime has overridden Montgomery, Alabama'

SEE ALSO: Increase in shootings put a strain on Montgomery's blood, plasma, other resources — 'We run very low sometimes'

Whenever he speaks about the recent crime wave, Reed has consistently pointed the blame at the state legislature, calling for more stringent gun control measures and criticizing lawmakers for passing permitless carry in 2022.

After the recent mass shooting, Reed once again called on lawmakers to pass "commonsense gun reform."

RELATED: Montgomery Mayor Reed asks city council to fund $6 million violence intervention, again blames permitless carry for the rise in gun crime.

Reed's buck-passing has already put him at odds with state lawmakers in his district, who have already pre-filed bills for the 2025 legislative session to address crime in Montgomery and other areas. One bill would allow the governor and attorney general to appoint an interim police chief in municipalities failing to control crime. Reed has already opposed the measure, saying it was "legislative overreach."

In a recent appearance on 93.1 "News and Views" with Joey Clark, State Rep. Reed Ingram (R-Pike Road) and State Sen. Will Barfoot (R-Pike Road) spoke on their legislative efforts to reign in crime and pushed back against the attempts to blame permitless carry.

RELATED: 'Politicians want to blame somebody else': Experts, lawmakers push back on narrative blaming constitutional carry for increased crime

Barfoot pointed to data from federal audits from both the Obama and Trump administrations that showed several county sheriff's offices in Alabama were not conducting proper background checks when issuing concealed carry permits when they checked at all.

Barfoot also pointed out that a concealed carry permit never restricted an individual from carrying all manner of weaponry. He also said that data showed individuals charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit rarely did jail time.

"Most people don't realize this, but the concealed carry permit only applied to pistols," Barfoot said. "There was nothing before that concealed carry permit law, when it was in place, to stop me, you, or anybody else from walking down Dexter Avenue with a shotgun, or a rifle, or a pistol that was not concealed. Alabama was an open carry state, so that concealed carry permit did nothing."

He continued, "I went back and looked at Montgomery numbers; there were 125 people in 2021 who were arrested, at municipal court, for carrying a pistol concealed on or about their person or in their car who did not have a concealed carry permit, and the vast, vast majority of those folks did no jail time. So, the concealed carry permit, that there's a lack of a concealed carry permit; it's just not accurate that's the reason that crime has gone up."

Ingram echoed Barfoot's sentiments, pointing out that concealed carry permits would not prevent most recent crimes.

"Most of the people that are doing this shooting are juveniles, and that didn't apply to concealed carry. You got to be 19 to concealed carry," Ingram said.

Ingram also challenged the narrative that Reed and his staff pushed to suggest that violent crime is going down in Montgomery. In an interview with the far-left, state-funded media site Alabama Political Reporter, Reed stated that the claim that crime was rising in the city was "factually inaccurate."

Ingram suggested that the city's claim that crime is going down is likely due to a lack of proper reporting, not an actual decrease in violent crime. There has been a recent trend in the U.S. of local law enforcement not correctly reporting crime stats to the FBI, skewing actual data.

"You go 10-12 miles North of here, you don't have that problem; actually, crime is down in most of those counties and municipalities," Ingram continued. "Montgomery is up, and they can say what they want to or spin it the way they want to. …I don't think all of it's being reported right in all of these municipalities as far as classifying if somebody was shot or killed. If it picked up on the news, they may do it right or report it to the FBI, but I think there's a lot more going on."

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