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Bill to ban “trigger activators” advances in House committee

Only one lawmaker expressed any concern about the bill and the lack of language creating stiffer sentences.

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A bill that would align state law with a federal law criminalizing the possession, sale or use of trigger activators passed through a House committee Wednesday with little objection.

The modification, sometimes called a “Glock switch,” can turn a typically semi-automatic firearm, such as a pistol, into a fully automatic weapon.

The bill is being sponsored by Rep. Randy Wood, R-Anniston.

“This is a very, very dangerous— a gun is dangerous enough, but when you’ve got one like this that’s automatic … when you’ve got that, you’ve got problems,” Wood told the committee.

Rep. Shane Stringer, R-Citronelle, questioned an aspect of the bill that allows for the taking of the weapon. Wood explained that section is due to the activator sometimes being hidden within the gun.

Stringer asked whether language had been considered to increase penalties or punishments for the ones using weapons in crimes that have these devices. Wood said this would already be a Class B Felony.

“We were just talking a while ago about putting everybody in jail, let’s do away with some of the firearms first,” Wood said.

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“Yeah, I don’t know if that’s going to be the solution,” Stringer replied.

“If you could see this thing in operation, when you aim it as a pistol, you may get the first shot and all you do is pull it one time and it empties it all out,” Wood said.

Rep. Russell Bedsole, R-Alabaster, clarified that this bill “is not about getting rid of weapons.”

“This bill actually addresses altering a weapon outside what the intended design of the weapon is,” Bedsole said.

Both Stringer and Bedsole are law enforcement officers in their respective districts.

Wood said this bill had the support of most law enforcement so that the state can deal with trigger activators without involving federal law enforcement, which is so busy it can deal with every case.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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