'Bama Bill Would Let People Carry In Cars Without Permit

Since we pay for our cars and the tags on them and the registration renewal every year, are they an extension of our homes? That’s what proponents of a new law that would allow Alabama residents to carry firearms in their vehicles, without a carry permit, are saying.

Currently, Alabama requires a background check and a concealed-carry permit in order to carry a loaded gun in a vehicle. Otherwise, a firearm must be unloaded and kept out of reach. This story from wvtm13.com says a new bill proposed by Sen. Gerald Allen in the state legislature would eliminate that requirement.

This week, about three dozen sheriffs and police chiefs from all over the state arrived in Montgomery to voice their opposition to the bill, the story says, claiming it will make it easier for people to bypass another layer of background checks.

This story from al.com says a public hearing on the bill drew an overflow crowd at the Alabama State House.

Some are worried the bill will empower those who shouldn’t have a gun to begin with.

"Anybody that cannot pass a background check will be immediately the ones who start carrying the weapon in the car," said Bobby Timmons of the Alabama Sheriffs Association. The story notes that individuals still have to pass a background check to purchase a firearm.

In the al.com story, Timmons said, "road rage is a factor out there we're born with."

Eddie Fulmer, president of Bama Carry, a gun rights organization, said people should have a right to protect themselves in their cars just as they do in their homes, according to the story.

Allen’s Senate Bill 14 has yet to come up for a full vote before the state Senate.

Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale supports Allen’s bill.

"Being opposed to Senate Bill 14 will not keep one gun out of the hands of criminals," Hale said. "What it will do is just keep guns out of law-abiding citizens' hands."