The Alabama Sheriffs Association announced Wednesday that they have adopted the position that Alabama concealed carry permits should be not be used as an alternative to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System for firearms sales.
Prior to last week, Alabama CCP holders could go to Wal-Mart, or another federal firearms licensee, and purchase a firearm without having to wait through the NICS check simply by showing their CCP. That changed last week after the Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms notified FFLs that an Alabama CCP would no longer be acceptable as an alternative to the Brady Act’s background check requirement, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed that persons that were prohibited from purchasing firearms have been able to obtain Alabama CCPs from their county sheriffs.
“The Sheriffs of Alabama have always supported the process of conducting a thorough check of an individual’s personal history as it pertains to criminal history, mental health issues or other factors that affect that individual’s application to obtain a concealed carry permit,” the ASA wrote in a statement. “In that interest and in the interest of protecting the citizens we serve, the Sheriffs of Alabama, through the Executive Committee of the Alabama Sheriffs Association, adopt the position that concealed carry permits issued by an Alabama sheriff should no longer be considered an alternative to a National Instant Criminal Background Check System check performed by an Alabama federal firearms licensed dealer [as clearance] for the purchase of a firearm.”
“The Alabama Sheriffs Association will continue to encourage all sheriffs to be in compliance with the state law [§13A-11-75, Code of Alabama, 1975] that requires National Crime Information Center and NICS checks,” the statement continued.
Last week, Assistant Director of Enforcement Marvin Richardson wrote in a letter that some sheriffs in Alabama have been selling permits without performing the required National Instant Criminal Background Check System check that is required under the 1998 Brady Act.
For the last several years, pro-Second Amendment groups have advocated for the state Legislature to pass constitutional carry, which would end the requirement that Alabama citizens have a CCP in order to carry their loaded handguns in their vehicles or concealed on their persons. Pro-Second Amendment groups claim this situation will only increases their calls for ending the CCP requirement to carry a handgun concealed.
Alabama already allows the open carry of firearms; but requires that handguns be unloaded and locked away out of reach in a motor vehicle, unless the gunowner has a valid CCP. Possessing loaded long guns — rifles and shotguns — in a motor vehicle is allowed under current Alabama law.