By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Thursday, April 30, the Alabama Gun Rights Network (AGR) defended the gun bill, HB47, that was crafted in the Public Safety & Homeland Security committee on Wednesday.
Rep. Christopher England (D-Tuscaloosa) substituted HB328 for his HB47.
AGR wrote in their release: “A lot of folks are asking questions about HB 47, unfortunately much of the information coming out of some circles is not only misleading but in many cases outright false. So lets deal with a couple of real misleading statements floating around right now…First in HB 47 there are no new restricted places; in fact we have provisions in the bill that do two things to make some restrictions go away.”
Guns will still be prohibited in Alabama hospitals and facilities that provide inpatient care of the mentally ill, we removed the term “or on the premises.” Both visitors and employees will be able to have guns in their vehicles while at these facilities. The bill clarifies that employers may not place restrictions on their parking lots even if they use the facility exception to create a gun free facility by putting up a fence and guards to ban guns in their parking lots.
HB 47 makes our statutes the same as the federal prohibitors to obtain “Alternative Permit Status” under the NICS Improvement Act. Once Alabama is certified as an Alternative Permit Status State, your Alabama Pistol Permit will allow you to purchase a firearm at a dealer without going through a separate NICS check for each purchase you make.
Federal law prohibits certain individuals from possessing firearms, ammunition, or explosives. HB47 would bring state law to agree. Prohibited persons would include: a person convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment exceeding one year; a person who is a fugitive from justice; a person who is an unlawful user of or who is addicted to a controlled substance; a person who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been admitted to a mental institution; an alien who is unlawfully in the United States or who has been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa; a person who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions; a person who, having been a citizen of the United States, renounces his citizenship; a person subject to a court order that was issued after a hearing in which the person participated, which order restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or partner’s child, and which order includes a finding that the person is a credible threat to such partner or partner’s child, or by its terms prohibits the use, attempted use or threatened use of such force against such partner or partner’s child; a person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
AGR said that, “Factions from all over Alabama arrived at a critical mass and worked together to achieve something many suggested could not be accomplished – a bi-partisan gun rights bill sponsored by a Democratic Representative from Tuscaloosa, passed by a Republican controlled House Committee with only one no vote cast in opposition…The true story behind this goes all the way back to last summer when Alabama Gun Rights hosted a legislative summit on gun rights at the State House.”
Some gun rights activists are less pleased. Bamacarry co-founder Robert W Kennedy Jr said, “When the DA’s and the ASA support a Gun Bill in Alabama you know something is not good for the law Abiding Citizen.”
The NRA supports the passage of HB328. The NRA wrote: “This important legislation seeks to achieve pragmatic and necessary reforms to Alabama’s firearm laws. If passed, HB 328 would amend Alabama’s unduly restrictive minor possession of pistols law and repeal the state’s duplicative and intrusive pistol registration process.”
HB 328 would allow minors to possess pistols only if they have permission from their parent or legal guardian and are engaged in: attending a hunter education or firearm safety course; engaged in target shooting at an established range; engaged in an organized shooting competition; are hunting or fishing pursuant to a valid license; are on real property under the control of the minor’s parent, grandparent or legal guardian; are acting in the line of duty as a member of the Armed Services; or are traveling to or from one of the above-referenced activities.