Fairfax, Va. – The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action is praising the Alabama State Senate for passing a bill that would solve the significant cost difference in concealed weapon license (CWL) fees between counties. Senate Bill 304 passed the State Senate yesterday with unanimous approval. The vote was 27 to 0.
A standard 5-year permit issued in Jefferson County costs $40, while the same permit in Coosa and other counties costs $125. The permittee receives no additional benefit for the more expensive permit. As a result, the counties that charge excessive fees are simply generating revenue from a small group of law-abiding residents.
“This bill acknowledges the simple truth that law-abiding Alabamians should not be charged different amounts for the same permit,” said Catherine Mortensen, NRA Spokesperson. “The NRA believes that concealed carry permit fees should be limited to the actual cost of processing the permit and complying with all statutory obligations. Anything above that is a discriminatory tax on law-abiding gun owners and a revenue generator for the county.”
Under Alabama’s existing licensing scheme, an individual who wishes to obtain a concealed carry permit must apply for the license in their county of residence, with each county setting its own fees. This disparity has a significant, and potentially cost-prohibitive, impact on individuals who wish to lawfully exercise their fundamental Right to Keep and Bear Arms for self-defense.
Senate Bill 304 now heads to the Alabama House for consideration.
Example of cost differences between Alabama 67 counties for a standard 5-year Concealed Weapons License (CWL):
- Low – Jefferson County - $40
- High – Baldwin, Coosa, DeKalb, Lowndes, Macon Counties - $125
Over a 5-year period those rights cost approximately $85.00 more in Macon County compared to Jefferson County.
Additional information on Senate Bill 304:
- Senate Bill 304, would allow a law-abiding Alabamian to obtain a CWL in any county within the state, provided that they are not statutorily disqualified from doing so.
- Permitees would no longer be strictly subjected to onerous and cost-prohibitive fees simply because they live in a county with higher fees.
- The sheriff of the individual’s county of residence would receive notification that the CWL was issued and would have full authority to revoke a license if he or she could have done so upon application.
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America's oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. More than five million members strong, NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services. Be sure to follow the NRA on Facebook at NRA on Facebook and Twitter @NRA.