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BamaCarry holds legislative conference

The Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Alabama.

The Second Amendment rights group BamaCarry held their 2019 Legislative Conference on Saturday at the Jasper Civic Center in Walker County. Over 230 people were on hand to promote the expansion of gun rights in Alabama.

“Thank you so much for helping with the campaign,” said Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth.

“I am one of you; I grew up hunting and fishing,” Ainsworth said.

State Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh, R-Anniston, and State Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa, are working to get constitutional carry.

“You shouldn’t have to get a permit for something that is a right,” Marsh said.

Ainsworth said that after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, teachers in his district asked him to draft legislation to allow them to carry guns to protect the school.

“I have got twin boys that are 9 and a girl that is 7 that are in public school,” Ainsworth said. “Gun-free zones are killing zones because you can’t shoot back.”

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Ainsworth’s bill did not pass in 2018, but he still believes that it is necessary.

“There are over 400 schools that don’t have a school resource officer,” Ainsworth said. “I am here to serve y’all. It is an honor to be with you today. It is an honor to help fight for your rights.”

Marsh said he supports Allen’s SB4, which would eliminate the requirement that Alabama citizens have to have a concealed-carry permit to carry handguns concealed on their persons or in their vehicles.

“I want to thank Gerald Allen for sponsoring SB4,” Marsh said. “We will continue to move it through the Senate. It is the House we have to work on.”

Marsh said he was in Washington two weeks ago meeting with the NRA’s Chris Cox.

“They are constantly under attack for fighting for Second Amendment rights,” he said.

“I have more guns than I can count, and I want to keep them,” Marsh said. “I am like you. I grew up hunting and fishing. I still have a gun dog named Ray, and we were hunting last week.”

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“I will continue to work with you,” Marsh said and then he gave out his personal cell phone number to the crowd.

On Saturday, Marsh announced that he is seriously looking at running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama.

BamaCarry has over 1300 paid “vested members” and 20,279 Facebook group members.

“Great crowd,” Allen told AM 770’s David Pinkelton. “I am a member myself. I am carrying a great bill: Senate Bill four. I encourage everyone to call the House members. We have the votes in the Senate to pass this.”

“Make that phone call to the Speaker’s office,” Allen said. “Fourteen states have passed constitutional carry. Where it has passed the sale of permits has gone up.”

“My rights do not come from people,” BamaCarry President Eddie Fulmer said. “They do not come from government. My rights are ordained by God. If I do not have a right to defend my life, my rights or my property, neither does government. Molon Labe.”

“The left has been making an incredible push for more gun control at the national levels and at the state level,” said Gunowners of America Executive Director Erich Pratt. “They are pushing a manifest destiny of sorts that they are on the right side of history.”

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“[The mainstream media] are giving you story after story in order to try to dispirit you,” Pratt said. “With the exception of Florida, we saw the blue states get bluer and the red states getting redder. Gallup does a survey of the most important issues to the American people, and last October, the desire for more gun control was not even in the top 15.”

“The left wants to dispirit you,” Pratt said. “They want you to think that we have reached a tipping point where the majority of Americans want the Second Amendment repealed.”

“The number of school districts arming teachers doubled last year,” Pratt said. “After Parkland, more states passed stand your ground laws; more states passed constitutional carry. South Dakota became the 15th state to get constitutional carry. We need to get Alabama on board and pass that.”

“At GOA we try to make it very easy for you,” Pratt continued. “We alert you when legislation comes down the pike that is a threat to your right, and we notify you when there is good legislation we need to support. The biggest battle we are going to be fighting this year is the red flag gun confiscation orders.”

“They allow your guns to be confiscated even though you haven’t been convicted of a crime or even accused of a crime,” Pratt said. “All it takes is someone, usually a family member, to say that they are dangerous.”

We have already lost one over this, Pratt said. Gary Willis in Maryland said police came to his door and shot him at 5:15 a.m. A distant relative reported him as dangerous because of a family argument at Thanksgiving. The first time you find out that there has been an order against you is at 5:15 a.m. The police banged on his door. He had his cell phone in one hand and his gun in his other like all of us would if someone was banging on the door at 5:15 a.m. The police shot and killed him.

Pratt said that GOA and BamaCarry were together suing the Trump administration over the ban on bump stocks. The ATF is claiming that a bump stock makes an AR-15 into an illegal machine gun.

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He said the measure is too broad, violates previous ATF rulings on the matter and could be written in such a way as for a future more liberal administration to rewrite the rules so that AR-15s could be outlawed as being illegal machine guns under the National Firearms Act of the 1930s.  Pratt said that in the best case scenario the court would just rule the NFA unconstitutional.

Pratt said that they are also challenging New York’s restrictive gun laws.

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

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