To obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Texas, an applicant must pass a background check. Disqualifiers include a felony conviction, a child-support payment delinquency, mental incompetence, narcotics abuse and owing back taxes. Oh, and he or she must complete at least six hours of firearms training.
Alabama’s concealed-carry process has many of the same requirements concerning a violent criminal record, substance abuse and mental health. However — and this is big — Alabama does not require permit applicants to complete firearms training.
Texas — a state that takes a backseat to no one when it comes to the Second Amendment, thank you very much — requires at least six hours of training.
Alabama requires zero.
Texas’ concealed-carry training covers the following, according to the state’s Department of Public Safety:
-- “Laws that relate to weapons and the use of deadly force.
-- “Handgun use and safety, including use of restraint holsters and methods to ensure the secure carrying of openly carried handguns.
-- “Non-violent dispute resolution.
-- “Proper storage practices for handguns with an emphasis on storage practices that eliminate the possibility of accidental injury to a child.”
Call those common-sense topics any gun owner should be familiar with.
President Donald Trump was correct last week in dismissing the notion that Congress pass a concealed-carry reciprocity law as part of a larger gun-control bill. If passed into law, the measure would allow holders of a concealed-carry permit to carry their weapons in any state, even those with stricter gun laws.
“If you’re gonna put concealed carry between states in this bill, we’re talking about a whole new ballgame. And I’m with you, but let it be a separate bill. If you add conceal carry to this, you’ll never get it passed,” Trump said Wednesday to U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., a congressional proponent of a national concealed-carry law.
Trump isn’t necessarily opposed to national concealed-carry, but he rightly sees that in the current climate, some states will be reluctant to see their authority to regulate firearms undercut by the feds.
When the U.S. House passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 late last year, the National Rifle Association celebrated the vote.
“This vote marks a watershed moment for Second Amendment rights,” Chris W. Cox, the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action’s executive director, said in a press release. “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is the culmination of a 30-year movement recognizing the right of all law-abiding Americans to defend themselves, and their loved ones, including when they cross state lines.”
Of course, states are free to set up their own reciprocity agreements that allow permit holders to legally cross state lines. Alabama is part of such a compact that covers more than 20 states, including Texas. However, that arrangement is vastly different from a federal mandate covering every state, regardless of the standards required of permit-holders.
While the Legislature is still in session, this would be a good time for Alabama lawmakers to ponder why Texas requires six hours of training to acquire a concealed-carry permit and our state requires none.