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“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”
― Patrick Henry
Alabama gun owners have taken back some of their rights.
A new concealed carry law, known as the “guns in the parking lot act” went into effect today allowing Alabamans to keep concealed pistols locked in their car while at work, even if their employer previously prohibited the act.
The sponsor of the law, Scott Beason, says the purpose of the law is “to make sure the right of law-abiding citizens to carry a firearm and defend their families is clear.” This bill did not pass the state house easily. It ended as a struggle between 2nd amendment groups, led by the National Rifle Association, against law enforcement and business groups.
Opposing Democrats waived the Trevon Martin flag pronouncing this law, coupled with Alabama’s already existing “stand your ground” law, would be the cause of a rash of “Trevon style murders”.
It should be made clear that this law does not allow gun owners to bring their firearms into a place of business that prohibits it. It also protects businesses from lawsuits if employees use their weapons to commit crimes.
The law also changed who is allowed to keep weapons in their car. Previously, only those with carry and conceal permits could store a weapon in their vehicle. With the new law, residents may keep an unloaded weapon in their car.
However, the weapon must be locked and out of reach in the trunk or glove box. The thought behind the provision was to allow residents without carry and conceal permits to transport their weapon to shooting ranges, an act that was previously technically illegal.
Additionally, the new law allows gun owners to register for permits of up to five years instead of the previous one, and extends new requirements on the sheriff’s office in issuing these permits. Conceal and Carry permits must now be issued within 30 days of the citizen applying for them except in the cases where the person is prohibited from owning a firearm, the sheriff has a reasonable suspicion the gun owner plans on using the weapon illegally, where there is a justifiable concern for public safety or if any part of the application is falsified. Even in cases where permits are not issued, the sheriff must supply a written reason for denial which can then be appealed by the citizen in court.
Hats off to Alabama for protecting its citizens’ gun rights.