Constitutional Amendment on Guns Nears Final Step

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama lawmakers are one step from letting voters decide, at least in theory, whether to make it harder for government to adopt restrictions on firearms.

A proposed constitutional amendment would apply a judicial standard called strict scrutiny to any limits on possessing weapons. The proposal cleared a Senate committee Tuesday. It must pass the full Senate before it goes on a statewide ballot.

Strict scrutiny is a legal term that refers to courts setting the highest standards when deciding whether a law is constitutional. In the case of firearms, that means any restrictions would have to be narrowly tailored and proponents would have to show a compelling reason for the limits.

The bill repeats what the U.S. Supreme Court already requires under recent decisions striking down local weapons bans.

A vote is expected this afternoon.

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