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Controversial Gun Rights Bill Passes House

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama House of Representatives voted on Tuesday, May 12, for gun rights bill, HB47. The bill was endorsed by the National Rifleman’s Association (NRA); but not all gun rights groups in Alabama are pleased with the legislation as passed out of the House.

The pro-Second Amendment group, Alabama Gun Rights (AGR) supports the legislation. They wrote, “HB47 represents another advance by AGR in maintaining and securing gun rights for all Alabamians. In a time of pointed partisanship, AGR’s Legislative Team was able to bring all parties to the table, utilizing our relationships with key members of the Legislature and other interested organizations, to negotiate a Bill agreeable and beneficial to all. Thanks to all of you for your continued support of AGRN, and we are already working with our partners on our 2015 Conference to identify, draft, and propose legislation for the 2016 Legislative Session!”

A rival pro-Second Amendment group, BamaCarry opposed the legislation after compromises with gun opponents were made in a House Committee. The group wrote in a press release, “This new legislation is burdensome and unnecessary. Instead of taking the opportunity to provide clarity and restore gun rights to Alabamians, the composers of this Bill have chosen to add subjectivity, ambiguity, and further confusion to Alabama’s gun statutes. Gun owners in Alabama deserve better from our elected officials.”

On Wednesday, April 29, the House Public Safety & Homeland Security committee substituted Rep. Christopher England’s (D-Tuscaloosa) HB47 with HB328.  After the changes, BamaCarry opposes this newest version of HB47 and are asking the Senate to pass SB262 which is the original version of HB328 that was endorsed by the National Rifleman’s Association (NRA) as well as BamaCarry.

The legislation passed the House on Tuesday by a vote of 58-33, with 7 Abstaining. AGR says that it expects swift passage in the Senate, then on to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

AGR announced that they would like to thank all involved in this highly notable, bi-partisan effort, with special thanks to:  Rep. Chris England (D), Rep. Ed Henry (R), Speaker Mike Hubbard, and his Office, The Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, Members of the Alabama Gun Rights Legislative Team, The NRA, and NRA-ILA Liaison Dakota Moore, the Business Council of Alabama, the Alabama Sheriffs Association, Office of Prosecution Services, Association of County Commissions, Alabama Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

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Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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