Gun owners and sportsmen earned a major victory with the passage of an omnibus firearms bill, Senate Bill 286. This NRA-supported bill was signed into law yesterday by Governor Robert Bentley (R) and will take effect on August 1.
Rep. Ed Henry, R-Hartselle, said the bill was needed to make sure that people have access to weapons to defend themselves including on long drives to work.
“It’s up to you to protect yourself,” Henry said.
The bill would prohibit employers from prohibiting their workers from bringing guns into workplace parking lots provided the firearm is out of sight, locked in the car and other conditions are met. A concealed carry permit would be required for pistols. A rifle or other weapon used for hunting could only be carried during hunting season, and would require a valid hunting license or a concealed carry permit.
Senate Bill 286 will protect and restore your Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Alabama by reforming the state gun laws in the following ways:
- 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 used 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.
“A free people ought…to be armed”
― George Washington