Police officers are trained to understand that their number one responsibility is to come home safe to their family every night. Most reasonable minded people would agree that this is their ultimate responsibility. Alabama’s pistol permits are just one more tool that help the officers and the permit holders both get home safely to their families.
In the dangerous world that we live in today, officers must be on high alert and ready to react at a second’s notice to dangerous situations. Especially in this state, where we just ended the deadliest year for law enforcement in decades. This heightened alertness and the automatic responses that it leads to can lead to mistakes, especially with inexperienced officers. If you have ever observed an officer at a traffic stop from a passing vehicle, you might see a well-trained officer hovering a hand over their service weapon and its holster during the traffic stop. This might indicate that they have not established a knowledge of the situation or the people with whom they are interacting. Therefore, when I get pulled over at a traffic stop, I always hand the officer four things. I hand the officer my driver’s license, my vehicle registration, my proof of insurance, and my pistol permit. I hand them my pistol permit regardless of if I’m carrying or not. I know this lets the officer know that I am a law-abiding citizen and I am no threat to them. If I can establish to that officer that I am not a threat to him, then the heightened awareness and anxiety can lower. We can go about conducting the business for which he pulled me over with a reduced chance that he’s going to mistake any movement that I make as a threat and react accordingly.
I do this now, and I would do it regardless if there was a law requiring it or not. That is why Gerald Allen’s limitless gun carry bill doesn’t apply to me. If the limitless gun carry bill passes the Alabama legislature this year and is signed by the governor, I would encourage you to continue to get your pistol permit regardless of it being required or not. I will continue to do so. I will do so mainly for the reasons stated above, but also because my local sheriff keeps the money raised by the pistol permits. He keeps and uses the funds generated from the pistol permits for his department, and purchases equipment and give training bonuses to his deputies. In addition, if I ever decided to travel outside of the state of Alabama, there are currently 39 states that recognize reciprocity with Alabama’s pistol permits. Mississippi, where my family currently has privately held hunting land in the central part of the state, is included in those 39 states.
Staunch Second Amendment advocates will tell you that the limitless carry bill is necessary to prevent government encroachment on a constitutional right. Regardless if you agree with that argument or not, I’m suggesting that it’s a good idea to have a pistol permit whether it’s required or not. Any tool that can help law enforcement officers and citizens get home safely to waiting families, should be considered a good thing.