Our view: As gun restrictions loosen statewide, personal responsibility increases in importance

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2022

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With the start of the new year in Alabama, the milestone marks the date new state laws passed go into effect.

One bill signed into law March 10 by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, known as the Constitutional Carry Bill, revises certain pistol carry or possession restrictions, and eliminates pistol permit requirements for carrying a concealed pistol within the state.

The passage of the law should have been accompanied with a well-known quote from famous Marvel superhero Spider-man, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

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As more individuals make the conscious choice to equip themselves with a firearm, they must understand they have an obligation to their fellow members of society to exercise the appropriate care, caution, and common sense when it comes to gun safety.

We encourage our gun owners who choose to abide by the new law to take additional steps necessary to ensure this responsibility is taken seriously.

Personal responsibility pertaining to gun ownership includes regular trips to a gun range to ensure proficiency, participating in safety courses, and understanding the laws, not just in their home state, but also any states where they may travel.

The gun owner must also properly safeguard firearms when not carried, and the best way to achieve this goal is to store firearms in a secure area – preferably a gun locker or safe. Leaving a gun inside a locked vehicle is not a proper way to secure a firearm, as the weapon is one “smash-and-grab” away from ending up in the hands of a criminal.

We hope people who choose to exercise these rights also do so with a cool head. Using a firearm should be a last resort when attempts to deescalate the situation have failed and there is a clear, imminent threat to the lives of oneself or others within close proximity. One too many people shooting first and asking questions later puts a strain on our local law enforcement, first responders, and the families involved when an incident escalates to the point of no return.

Please be safe, smart, and secure when carrying firearms in 2023.