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Alabama Senate passes bill to nullify presidential gun orders

The bill which bans the use of public funds to enforce presidential orders aimed at curbing gun violence, now heads to the state House for consideration.

(STOCK)

The Alabama Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would make it illegal to carry out a president’s executive orders regarding gun violence.

Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa, introduced Senate Bill 2, which originally would have made it a Class C misdemeanor for a state or local official “from participating in the implementation or enforcement of any federal act, law, order, rule, or regulation relating to firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition.”

Allen introduced a substitute bill on the floor, which instead would prevent the use of public funds to enforce presidential gun orders. 

“Because of the grave threat to Alabamians’ Second Amendment rights posed by any Biden Administration gun control order, no public resources should be used to administer or enforce any Biden Administration gun control order without the express written consent of the people’s elected representatives in the Alabama Legislature,” the substitute bill reads. 

The substitute bill does allow for state officials to “allocate funds or participate in the administration or enforcement of any presidential gun control order, to any extent the Finance Director certifies in writing that the allocation or participation is required as a condition for receipt of federal funding necessary for the welfare of Alabamians.”

State Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, warned lawmakers that federal laws supersede state laws and that passing the bill would result in costly legal battles. 

“You’re going to spend all these millions of dollars trying to defend this, and we’re going to lose,” Smitherman said, 

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“We’ve gotten over $58 billion in the state of Alabama from the federal government, and now we’re ready to tell the federal government that we want your money, but we don’t want you telling us what to do,” said Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro said. 

Prior to spending more than an hour filibustering, Smitherman explained that if he was clotured – a move that limits debate on a bill – he’d filibuster on every bill for the rest of the session. 

“If you cloture me on this bill, you’re going to cloture me on every bill from now until sine die,” Smitherman said. After he spoke at length, Republicans did cloture him, however, and he warned that he was serious in his previous warning. 

“I’m not emotional. Not raising my voice, because I want you to understand, I’m going to do it,” Smitherman said of filibustering every bill going forward. 

Because of the culture, debate on the bill ended at 2:20 p.m. and members voted  24-5 to approve the bill. The bill now heads to the House for consideration.

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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