Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill into law Thursday that will remove Alabama's requirement for its citizens to purchase a concealed carry permit from their county's sheriff to hide a handgun on their person or have one in their vehicles.

Constitutional carry, as it is referred to by supporters, has long been a goal of many Alabama Republicans who believe that making citizens purchase a permit to conceal a handgun is a violation of their rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the Constitution.

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The measure has been proposed in the Alabama Legislature in some form for years, and the bill signed Thursday and in the House of Representatives by sponsored by Shane Stringer and in the Senate by Gerald Allen has finally found its way through both chambers and to the governor's desk before the end of the legislative session doomed it for another year.

“Unlike states who are doing everything in their power to make it harder for law-abiding citizens, Alabama is reaffirming our commitment to defending our Second Amendment rights,” said Governor Ivey. “I have always stood up for the rights of law-abiding gunowners, and I am proud to do that again today.”

Sheriffs will still sell permits to anyone who wants to buy one, which will then be valid in other states that honor permits issued in Alabama but still require residents and visitors to have a licenses to carry handguns.

Certain people in the state, like convicted felons, will still be barred from owning or carrying firearms.

The new law goes into effect at the beginning of 2023 -- pistol permits will still be required until the beginning of the new year.

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