Senate Bill 286, a critical omnibus firearms bill, has been referred to the House Commerce and Small Business Committee. This measure passed in the state Senate by an overwhelming 28 to 5 vote on April 4. Sponsored by state Senators Scott Beason (R-17) and Roger Bedford (D-6), SB 286 seeks to restore and protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen in Alabama by reforming the state gun laws in the following ways:
- No employer may prohibit the otherwise lawful possession, transportation or storage of firearms or ammunition that is kept out of sight within a locked or attended private vehicle of an invitee who is otherwise permitted to operate or park that vehicle on the property. This would allow employees to carry a firearm during their commute to and from work.
- Creates a “car carry permit” that will be free of charge and good for life. Currently, in order to transport a handgun in a vehicle, one must be in possession of a pistol permit.
- 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 appear before an appeals panel.
- 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.
While a hearing has not been scheduled for Senate Bill 286, please contact members of the House Commerce and Small Business Committee and respectfully urge them to support SB 286.
House Commerce and Small Business Committee:
Representative Jack Williams (Chairman)
Representative Barry Moore (Vice-Chairman)
Representative Craig Ford (Ranking Minority Member)
Representative Richard Baughn
Representative Mack Butler
Representative David Colston
Representative Kurt Wallace
Representative April Weaver
Representative Pebblin Warren