The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (BATFE) issued a letter [PDF] on July 22 to Federal Firearms Licensees conducting business in Alabama that explained anyone in possession of a valid state-issued concealed carry permit must now undergo a NICS background check. Prior to the announcement, those with a permit issued Aug. 1, 2013, or later were not required to wait for the FBI to recheck its records before taking possession of a firearm.
This week’s action was taken, “Because county sheriffs have issued CCP permits s without completing a full NICS check, firearms have been transferred to felons and other prohibited individuals in violation of federal law, thereby creating a substantial public safety concern,” the letter explains. “For this reason, the standards set forth in the Brady law require us to find that Alabama’s CCP permits no longer qualify as a NICS check alternative. In the interest of public safety, and effective immediately, FFLs in Alabama may no longer accept CCP permits as an alternative to a NICS check. Unless another exception applies, a NICS check must be conducted whenever you transfer a firearm to an unlicensed person even if the individual presents an unexpired CCP permit.”
The decision, according to the correspondence from Marvin G. Richardson, Assistant Director of BATFE Enforcement Programs and Services, is “Based on recent information received from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division Audit Unit, and upon results of inspections conducted by ATF field offices, ATF has determined that, notwithstanding the express requirements of Ala. Code §13A-11-75, Alabama CCP permits have been, and continue to be, issued to individuals without completion of a NICS check, or after a NICS denial.”
Alabama is a shall-issue state, and permits are authorized by the applicant’s respective Sheriff’s Department.