By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Thursday, the Alabama House of Representatives passed an amended version of the Omnibus gun bill, Senate Bill 286. The compromise legislation which was supported by both the National Rifleman’s Association and the majority of Alabama Sheriffs has to come back to the Senate for the Alabama Senate to decide whether or not to concur with the version of the bill that passed by the Alabama House of Representatives. If the Alabama Senate votes to concur with the Alabama House, the legislation can proceeed to Alabama Governor Robert Bentley’s office.
SB286 was sponsored by Senator Scott Beason (R) from Gardendale and was carried in the House by Rep. Ed Henry (R) from Hartselle.
Sen. Beason told ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ I am generally leaning toward concurrence. There might be a couple of small things. Things we would like to fix. Little irritating things possibly but no major changes.”
Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh (R) from Anniston said, “I hope what we will see that we will concur with it. That is what will happen. We are going to talk about it at our caucus meeting and then we will act on it Tuesday.”
Sen. Beason said, “As I have said, it is a very strong pro-gun bill in the Senate. We had to moderate it some to get it out of the Senate. I think the position was moderated a little more in the House but it is still a good piece of legislation. I have to examine all of the details and see what all they changed down there completely. We are light years ahead of where we were but we need to take a look at it and then we will decide if we can agree with the changes that the House made and get back to them next week.”
Senator Beason said that SB286 improves legal protections for gun owners. For example Beason said, “Alabama law says that you can not carry a pistol on property that is not under your control. That included concealed weapons. People didn’t know that. They thought you could carry anything anywhere. Even though I think you could according to the Constitution you could, and that was beginning to cause a problem. The Alabama law had so many places in it where it just wasn’t clear. If you go to the fact that people in Alabama thought that they could carry a pistol in their car as long as it was in the open, unconcealed. That is just not true. It is considered concealed if you are riding in a convertible as soon as the door is closed. Those kind of things needed to be cleaned up.”
The Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R) from Auburn said on Facebook, “Republicans have proven once again that our constitutional right to bear arms is sacrosanct and will be prioritized and protected in the great state of Alabama. President Obama and the Democratic Party are bound and determined to limit the rights of gun owners while Alabama Republicans have succeeded in defending these inalienable rights.”
Beason said, “We had cities that were pre-empted from passing their own firearms legislation. There were just a number of things that needed to be cleared up and we are trying to straighten it out.”
If the Senate concurs it goes to the Governor for his signature. If not it would be referred to a conference committee.