A bill that would allow Alabama residents to carry loaded handguns in their vehicles without a permit is another step closer to becoming law.

The state Senate approved the bill by a solid margin, voting 27-7 in favor on Tuesday. Now the bill heads to the state House.

Proponents of the Senate Bill 14, introduced by Sen. Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa), argues that, since residents pay for their cars, the tags on them, and the registration renewal each year, that they are an extension of people’s homes, and therefore residents should be allowed to keep firearms in them without additional permits.

Currently, the state requires a background check and a concealed-carry permit in order to carry a loaded gun in a vehicle. Otherwise the gun must be unloaded and kept out of reach.

Eddie Fulmer, president of Bama Carry, a local gun rights group, says the bill is especially important for women traveling alone in a car, according to this story from

“My daughters are both mothers and they feel very vulnerable in the cars if they don’t have a weapon with them and a lot of people only want to carry in their vehicle,” Fulmer said in the story “We feel like Alabama needs this, we need to be in line with all the other states and allow our citizens to protect themselves in a vehicle without having to purchase a permit,” he said.

Opponents of the bill worry that people who shouldn’t be carrying firearms will be able to have them in their vehicles, and that their presence could cause incidents of road rage to escalate.