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Alabama Senate Stalls Forever Wild Reauthorization Vote - Decides to Push Forever Wild Constitutional Amendment

Thursday, May 12, 2011

House Passes Fraudulent Firearms Purchase Legislation, but Delays Gun Owner Privacy and Firearm Destruction Prevention Legislation

In a last minute attempt to avoid reauthorization of the Forever Wild program, the Alabama Senate instead pushed for the passage of a Forever Wild constitutional amendment that would appear on the 2012 ballot.   

Forever Wild was created in 1992 by a constitutional referendum that garnered nearly 83 percent of the vote.  The program is dedicated to preserving Alabama's great wild lands and wildlife, all while expanding the public recreational opportunities such as hunting.  This land-preservation program has secured more than 220,000 acres in Alabama.  It is entirely funded by Gulf oil and gas leases with no monies coming from the taxpayer.  

House Bill 126 would extend the Forever Wild program so that Alabamians can experience the great wild lands and wildlife of the state.  Sportsmen have benefited immensely from this critical program, opening up tens of thousands of acres teeming with wildlife.  These lands are protected in perpetuity and provide countless hunting opportunities for generations to come. 

Alabama’s future generations of hunters depend on the conservation of lands today.  Forever Wild has been hugely successful and there is every reason to approve the proposed twenty-year extension immediately.  The Alabama Senate is currently in a two week recess, but will return on Tuesday, May 24.

In addition, the Alabama House moved on pro-gun legislation before adjourning for the two-week recess.  House Bill 450, Fraudulent Firearms Purchase Prevention legislation, passed in the state House on May 5 by a unanimous 93 to 0 vote.  Sponsored by state Representative Steve Hurst (R-35), HB 450 would protect lawful firearm retailers from illegal gun sting operations such as those by anti-gun New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Bloomberg has sent hired agents into other states to attempt illegal firearm purchases in an effort to blame federally licensed firearm retailers for gun crime in New York City and around the country.  HB 450 now moves to the state Senate for its consideration.    

Please contact your state Senator and respectfully urge him or her to reconsider HB 126 reauthorization before the end of the 2011 session.  Please also ask that he or she votes in favor of HB 450.  All state Senators can be contacted by calling (334) 242-7800.  Further contact information for your state Senator can be found here.

Your help is also needed on two pro-gun bills that remain in the state House.

House Bill 445, Firearms Destruction Prevention legislation, sponsored by state Representative Blaine Galliher (R-30), has been amended with NRA-backed language to require a firearm obtained by law enforcement to be transferred and sold at a public auction by the Department of Public Safety with proceeds being deposited into the general fund.  Prior to the sale, the Department of Public Safety must use reasonable efforts to determine and return a firearm to its lawful owner if was lost or stolen.

House Bill 516, Gun Owner Privacy Protection legislation, sponsored by state Representative Micky Hammon (R-4), would prohibit medical practitioners from requiring patients to divulge information about private firearm ownership.  HB 516 would then bar practitioners from denying medical care to patients who refuse to disclose such information about firearms, ammunition or storage methods.

Both HB 445 and HB 516 are now stalled on the House floor.  Furthermore, HB 516 could receive an anti-gun amendment.  The state House needs to address both bills on Tuesday, May 24, in order for the state Senate to have time to consider the legislation.  Please contact your state Representative and urge him or her to support HB 445 and HB 516 without any anti-gun amendments.  Contact information for your state Representative can be found by clicking here.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.