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Senate to address gun bills when they return

The Senate is expected to consider Second Amendment rights legislation.

Then-Majority Leader Greg Reed presides over the Alabama Senate in 2018.

Senate Pro Tem Greg Reed, R-Jasper, said last week that when the Alabama Legislature returns that they will look at Second Amendment legislation. Reed would not be specific, but he did say that the Senate was looking at three bills.

Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Northport, has introduced Senate Bill 5, which would repeal certain restrictions on the carrying or possession of a firearm on certain property or in a motor vehicle by persons with or without a concealed pistol permit. This bill would also revise certain restrictions on the carrying or possession of firearms at certain locations. Allen has brought permitless carry bills in the past few sessions. They are opposed by the Alabama Sheriffs Association and have run into trouble in the Alabama House of Representatives.

The National Rifle Association supports SB5. The NRA’s Paul Littlefield said that SB5, “Allows a law-abiding adult to carry a concealed firearm in Alabama, without first needing to obtain government permission. This ensures that citizens have their right to self-defense without government red tape or delays.”

SB5 was pre-filed before the session and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has not acted on it yet. The NRA also supports this legislation.

Rep. Andrew Sorrell, R-Muscle Shoals, has introduced a similar bill in the House removing many restrictions on where a gun may be lawfully carried. House Bill 5 is awaiting action from the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

Littlefield said, “House Bill 405 and Senate Bill 5 allow a law-abiding adult to carry a concealed firearm in Alabama, without first needing to obtain government permission. This ensures that citizens have their right to self-defense without government red tape or delays. Additionally, they maintain the existing pistol permit system, so citizens who still wish to obtain a permit may do so.”

Senate Bill 308 was sponsored by Sen. Randy Price, R-Opelika. If passed SB308 would allow Alabamians to purchase a lifetime permit.

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Littlefield said that SB308, “Creates a lifetime permit for residents for $200. For state residents over 65, the fee will only be $150. Most aspects of the current permitting process will not change. People interested in obtaining a lifetime permit will apply at their local sheriff’s office for a background check and to fill out the appropriate paperwork.”

“As all law-abiding gun owners in Alabama know, we must make our voices heard loud and clear on these bills to get them passed,” Littlefield said. “This is a vital change to the existing permitting system that will give gun owners the option of deciding which route is best suited for their personal self-defense needs,” Littlefield explained.

SB308 received a favorable report from the Senate Judiciary Committee in a 9 to 0 vote. It now can be considered by the full Senate.

Littlefield said that even though Alabama is a strong Second Amendment state, the state Legislature has not passed meaningful gun legislation in six years.

The Alabama Legislature is away this week for spring break. They will return on Tuesday, March 30, for day 17 of the 2021 Legislative Session.

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

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I will continue to carry a handgun and will do so legally whatever that requirement may be.