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BamaCarry holds legislative conference

Brandon Moseley

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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.

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“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.”

“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.”

“[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.

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.

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Elections

Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels endorses Mike Bloomberg for president

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Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels announced his endorsement of Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg today, 4 days ahead of Alabama’s primary election on Super Tuesday. Daniels joins State Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton and Black Caucus Chair Representative A.J. McCampbell in support of Mike. In his endorsement, Rep. Daniels cited Mike’s work taking on tough fights on health care, public education, and supporting small businesses.

“We need a president who has a proven record of bringing people together to tackle the tough challenges we face in this country, and I can’t think of anyone better to do that than Mike Bloomberg,” said Rep. Daniels. “Not only is Mike the best positioned to take on Trump, but he has also proven he can deliver on his promises to make this country better for all. Alabamians should know that when I head to the polls this Tuesday, I’ll be proudly casting my vote for Mike Bloomberg.”

Rep. Anthony Daniels represents the 53rd District in the Alabama State House of Representatives, where, since 2017, he has served as minority leader. Rep. Daniels received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Alabama A&M University. A former public school teacher and small business owner, Daniels is known for championing innovative education programs, like the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering, that prepare young people for promising careers, cultivate homegrown talent, and drive economic growth. Under his leadership, the House Democratic Caucus has made significant strides in addressing key issues like support for cradle-to-Pre-K programs, proven workforce development, and job readiness initiatives, and bringing broadband access to rural areas. They have also succeeded in preventing the passage of partisan legislation that hurts working families.

“Alabamians know how important this election is for the future of our country, and that’s why they’re supporting Mike Bloomberg, a doer and not a talker with a record of not shying away from tough fights,” said Bradley Davidson, Mike Bloomberg 2020 Alabama State Advisor. “We’re honored to have the support of Rep. Daniels, a respected leader in Alabama and beyond, and we look forward to working together with him to get Mike elected.”

Mike Bloomberg will return to Alabama on Sunday, March 1 to participate in the 55th annual Selma bridge crossing to commemorate Bloody Sunday. Additionally, Bloomberg visited Montgomery earlier this month for an organizing event and to speak at the 60th annual Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC) Convention, the Alabama Democratic Party’s largest Black caucus. He later received the endorsement of the group.

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Biden, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Warren to travel to Selma

Brandon Moseley

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Sunday, Presidential candidates former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, and U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesoata, will travel to Alabama where they will participate in the events commemorating the attempted crossing of the Edmund Pettus bridge by voting rights marchers during the Civil Rights movement;

Bloomberg will participate in the 55th annual Selma bridge crossing to commemorate Bloody Sunday. In the morning, Bloomberg will attend Brown Chapel AME Church for morning worship with congregants and deliver remarks before joining Civil Rights and community leaders to participate in the bridge crossing reenactment.

Elizabeth Warren will participate in the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee Pre-March Rally, the Annual Bloody Sunday March across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and the Presidential Candidate Forum hosted by the Selma-to-Montgomery March Foundation and The Bridge Crossing Jubilee.

Mayor Buttigieg will participate in the bridge crossing reenactment. This is Buttigieg’s second visit to Alabama. He previously participated in a healthcare round table and visited with volunteers in Montgomery.

This is Mike’s third visit to Alabama since announcing his campaign for president. Mike was in Montgomery earlier this month for an organizing event and to speak at the 60th annual Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC) Convention, the Alabama Democratic Party’s largest Black caucus. He received the endorsement of the group.

This will be Elizabeth’s second trip to Alabama. By Sunday, she will have traveled to 30 states and Puerto Rico since launching her presidential campaign.

Mike Bloomberg and Joe Biden will attend Worship and Provide Brief Remarks at Brown Chapel AME Church at 10:00 a.m. CST. The Church is at: 410 Martin Luther King St, Selma, AL 36703.

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Elizabeth Warren will attend the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee Pre-March Rally will be at 1:30 p.m. at Brown Chapel AME Church; 410 Martin Luther King St., Selma, AL 36703.

The annual Bloody Sunday March across the Edmund Pettus Bridge will be at 2:30 p.m. CST beginning at Brown Chapel AME Church. Warren, Buttigieg, and Bloomberg are all committed to attend the bridge crossing reenactment.

Warren has committed to attend the Presidential Candidate Forum is hosted by the Selma-to-Montgomery March Foundation and The Bridge Crossing Jubilee. That event will be at 4:00 p.m. (estimated) and will be held at the George Corley Wallace State Community College; 3000 Earl Goodwin Pkwy, Selma, AL 36703.

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Organizers have confirmed that Amy Klobuchar is committed to attend; but were not sure which events she will participate in.

The crossing of the Edmund Pettus bridge and the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March were key events in the Civil Rights Movement that led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The Alabama Democratic Presidential primary will be on Tuesday, March 3. Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.

 

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Courts

Doug Jones praises end of state Democratic Party lawsuit

Eddie Burkhalter

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U.S. Senator Doug Jones, D-Alabama, on Thursday applauded the end of a lawsuit over control of the state Democratic party. 

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Greg Griffin on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by former Alabama Democratic Party chairwoman Nancy Worley, which means that state Rep. Chris England, who was picked to lead the state Democratic party by a reform group championed by Jones, is the party’s chair. 

“This is a great day for Alabama and her Democratic Party. Throughout much of last year, countless Democrats in our state worked to create a more open and diverse state party, while recognizing and being true to the crucial and historic role held by African-American voters,” Jones said in a statement Thursday.

“The by-laws of the Alabama Democratic Party now reflect the growing diversity in our state — including representation for Hispanic voters, Native American voters, Asian voters, voters with disabilities and voters from the LGBTQ community. And most importantly, the Alabama Democratic Party has dramatically increased leadership opportunities for young voters. Around 70 new caucus members were added to the state party Executive Committee last year—many of them young people from diverse backgrounds throughout the state. I’m proud to continue to work alongside a more unified, diverse and inclusive state party. 

“With the dismissal of this lawsuit, it is time that all who have been involved in this challenge, resolution, and expansion of the Democratic Party come together for a common good. Our state benefits from the ideas and engagement of a competitive two-party system. We have now demonstrated that we have the ability to be inclusive within our own party while working to expand the number and experiences of people who play a role in moving it forward.  

“Chairman Chris England and First Vice Chair Patricia Todd have my complete support and I call on Democrats throughout the state to unite behind them as we move forward in modernizing, re-invigorating, and expanding the Alabama Democratic Party.,” Jones said.

 

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ACLU of Alabama condemns bill banning transgender treatment for minors

Jessa Reid Bolling

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Alabama has condemned a recently approved bill to prevent doctors from providing hormone replacement therapy or puberty suppressing drugs to people younger than 19 who identify as transgender.

House Bill 303, the Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, would make it a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, for doctors to prescribe puberty-blocking medications or opposite gender hormones to minors. The legislation would also ban hysterectomy, mastectomy or castration surgeries from being performed on minors.

The Alabama House Health Committee and the Senate Health Committee approved the bill on Wednesday in separate hearings, both drawing overflow crowds. The committee approval moves the bill in line for consideration by the full House. 

The ACLU of Alabama said in a statement that the bill targets transgender youth and puts their academic success and health in danger. 

“Transgender girls are girls, and transgender boys are boys,” said Dillon Nettles, policy analyst at the ACLU of Alabama. “Alabama lawmakers are considering legislation that runs counter to medical science, prevailing standards for the treatment of transgender youth and basic human dignity.

“The government shouldn’t threaten medical providers with jail for treating transgender kids and schools shouldn’t discriminate against them when it comes to participation in school sports. HB303 and HB35 are dangerous, discriminatory and put kids at risk.”

Multiple women’s sports advocacy organizations, including The National Women’s Law Center, the Women’s Sports Foundation and Women Leaders in College Sports, support trans-inclusive policies and oppose efforts to exclude transgender students from participating in sports.

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A June 2019 report from the Trevor Project on mental health issues among LGBTQ youth across the United States found that 78 percent of transgender and non-binary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity in the past year. The report also found that 39 percent of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the last year, with more than half of transgender and non-binary youth having seriously considered. 

The Trevor Project is a non-profit organization that focuses on suicide prevention and crisis intervention for LGBTQ youth. 

This is the second bill in the State House this year dealing with transgender youth. 

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Rep. Chris Pringle, R-Mobile, is sponsoring House Bill 35, titled the Gender Is Real Legislative Act, or GIRL Act. It would require student athletes in K-12 schools to participate as the gender listed on their birth certificate, preventing transgender athletes from competing as the gender they identify as.

 

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