BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Alabama gun owners are a step closer to not having to buy conceal carry gun permits.
For Cottondale Senator Gerald Allen, doing away with the conceal carry requirement is a constitutional right. "The purpose of the bill is to continue the efforts to protect the second amendment of the constitution," said Allen.
Allen's bill cleared the state senate overwhelmingly, but during the legislative debate some in law enforcement opposed the bill. "It's a right to vote, but you have to register to do so. I think this is similar," said Auburn Police Chief Paul Register.
Sheriff offices across Alabama issues gun permits. Many see it as a way to get criminals off the road when they are checked for those permits. "The public's safety is always first and it should be. We just support common sense law on the book," said Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones.
"As a result of that, we have solved homicides. We have solved robberies across this state," Capt. Michael Salmonsky of Madison Co. Sheriff's office said.
Allen points out if his bill passes, permits aren't being done away with. Gun owners can still buy them which may help them carry their weapons outside of Alabama.
"So when citizens go outside the state and visit other parts of the country. They can certainly carry their weapon with them and their permits with them and be completely legal," Allen said.
Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale has voiced support for Allen's bill. The Alabama house is expected to take up the bill next week.