Montgomery, AL: Today, the Alabama House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 286, a bill sponsored by Senator Scott Beason and Representative Ed Henry that seeks to protect the Second Amendment rights of Alabamians. The bill now moves to Governor Bentley for his expected signature.
ALGOP Chairman Bill Armistead praised passage of the bill, saying, "After all of the changes to this bill, I applaud Sen. Beason and Rep. Henry for not losing focus and guiding this bill to passage. This is a good bill that protects our Second Amendment rights and allows Alabamians to better protect themselves.
"In a time when Washington D.C. is attempting to take away our guns and limit our rights, it is refreshing to see our elected officials in Alabama listening to constituents and responding in a positive way. The best way to reduce gun crime is to allow law-abiding citizens to bear arms, and that is exactly what this bill does.
A brief rundown of the highlights of the bill from the NRA is as follows:
Allows those who possess a valid Alabama pistol permit to keep firearms stored in their vehicle while at work, as well as allowing those who possess a valid Alabama hunting license to store an unloaded rifle or shotgun in their vehicle while at work.
Allows transportation of a handgun in a vehicle without an Alabama pistol permit as long as the handgun is unloaded, locked in a container and out of reach of the driver or passenger.
Shifts the current "May Issue" concealed carry permit system to a "Shall Issue" permit system and requires that a sheriff must issue or deny the carry permit within thirty days. Should someone be denied a permit, a written denial must be provided and that applicant would have an opportunity to appeal the denial.
A permit to carry a concealed pistol shall be good for one to five years (to be decided by the applicant seeking the carry permit).
Requires sheriffs to use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to conduct a background check on concealed pistol permit applicants.
Allows for all other valid state-issued permits to carry a concealed firearm to be recognized in Alabama.
Strengthens Alabama's firearms preemption statute by reserving for the state legislature complete control over regulation and policy relating to firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories in order to ensure that such regulation is applied uniformly throughout the state.
Extends the current Castle Doctrine to include places of business to ensure the right of self-defense does not end when you enter your business.