If you own a gun, or want to own a gun, and you live in Alabama -- or can get in a car and drive there -- today is Christmas in August for you.
Starting now, you don’t even need a permit to wave your loaded gun around in public, or anywhere. You still need a permit to carry your weapon in a concealed fashion. But the good news is, under the new law, you don’t have to live in Alabama, or for that matter, in the United States to obtain a “concealed carry” permit.
Alabama’s new, freewheeling gun law went into effect at the stroke of midnight earlier today and with it, broad new rights for gun-toting Alabamians. The new law loosens gun restrictions in a number of new ways, but perhaps the most controversial is the lifting of the ban on concealed weapons in school.
The law permits licensed gun owners to carry their sidearms into educational institutions , even to high school and college football games. Even some supporters of the new law think it goes too far at that point.
“I've seen too many riled up fans lose their tempers,” said Chuck Morril, who otherwise believes the new law is great idea as a way to combat “skyrocketing” crime. “That should not be allowed.”
Rest assured, however, that the law does allow schools to post “no guns allowed signs” at sporting events as long the ban is enforced by a privately employed guard.
The Alabama Department of Education is reviewing the new law to make sure that it doesn’t contradict existing federal and state laws regulating firearms in school.
The law also allows gun owners to leave their guns unloaded in their parked cars, even if their employers ban guns on company property, a provision which also applies to schools.
Private businesses may prohibit customers from openly brandishing guns, but they may no longer stop concealed carry permit holders from bringing hidden guns onto their property.