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Legislature to consider bill barring enforcement of federal gun laws

The legislation would bar state and local government from helping enforce federal gun laws.

The Alabama House chambers. (FILE PHOTO)

The Alabama House of Representatives is considering legislation to ban state and local law enforcement from assisting federal authorities in implementing federal gun laws. The Alabama Firearms Protection Act, House Bill 337, is sponsored by state Rep. Shane Stringer, R-Mobile.

HB337 is currently being considered by the Alabama House Judiciary Committee. HB337 is cosponsored by Reps. Brown (C), Sorrells, Marques, Kiel, Robertson, Meadows, Shaver, Estes, Kitchens, Pringle, Lipscomb, Easterbrook, Oliver, Shiver, Reynolds, Isbell and Hanes.

According to the synopsis:

“Under existing constitutional law, the federal government may not require a state or its officers to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. This bill would create the Alabama Firearms Protection Act to prohibit the state, its agencies, and political subdivisions from participating in the enforcement of any federal act, law, order, rule, or regulation relating to firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition, and would provide penalties for a violation.”

The bill states the following:

“Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (1) The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees to the states and their people all powers not granted to the federal government elsewhere in the United States Constitution and reserves to the State of Alabama and its people certain powers as they were understood at the time that Alabama was admitted to statehood in 1819, and the guaranty of these powers is a matter of contract between the State of Alabama and its people and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by Alabama and the United States in 1819. (2) The Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees to the people rights not granted in the United States Constitution and reserves to the people of Alabama certain rights as they were understood at the time Alabama was admitted into statehood in 1819, and the guaranty of these rights is a matter of contract between the State of Alabama and its people and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and5 adopted by Alabama and the United States in 1819. (3) The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution reserves to the people the right to keep and bear arms as that right was understood at the time that Alabama was admitted into statehood in 1819, and the guaranty of that right is a matter of contract between the State of Alabama and its people and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by Alabama and the United States in 1819.”

This bill would ban state resources from being used to enforce federal gun control efforts and would similarly bar county and municipal government from doing so as political subdivisions of the state of Alabama.

“Upon a finding that a political subdivision is in violation of this section, the court shall award the Attorney General reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining relief under this section, including court costs, reasonable attorneys’ fees, investigative costs, witness fees, and deposition costs,” according to the bill.

Cities or counties found to be in violation of this law would lose their eligibility for state grants, gifts and many tax revenues directly shared by the state with local governments not guaranteed by the Constitution of 1901. Essentially, this would cripple most local governments if they were found guilty of violating the law and penalties were fully enforced.

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Republican insider and Alabama Republican Executive Committee member Perry Hooper Jr., R-Montgomery, is a strong advocate for the legislation.

“This bill protects Alabamians from state or local government enforcement of overreaching federal firearms laws,” Hooper said. “Under this legislation, state and local government agencies would be prohibited from enforcing any presidential executive order or unconstitutional federal law that ‘regulates the ownership, use, or possession of firearms, ammunition, or firearms accessories.’ I strongly support this bill and every freedom-loving Alabamian should get behind it.”

“The United States Constitution guarantees law-abiding Americans the right to keep and bear arms,” Hooper said. “Joe Biden and the left do not believe in absolutes rights, especially when it comes the Second Amendment.”

Tuesday is day 22 of the 2021 Alabama Legislative Session.

Brandon Moseley
Written By

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with over nine years at Alabama Political Reporter. During that time he has written 8,297 articles for APR. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

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