MONTGOMERY, Ala. — If one Alabama Senator has his way, 2016 will be there year the state finally allows law-abiding citizens to carry loaded handguns in their vehicles without the need to pay for a concealed carry permit.
Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) shepherded the bill through the Alabama Senate last year, but it ultimately died in the House.
“No one is required to have a permit to keep a handgun in his or her house. The Castle Doctrine states vehicles are an extension of a person’s home,” Allen explained. “Therefore, adults should have the right to carry a pistol in their car without a permit.”
His argument was not enough to persuade the House to act.
This year, Second Amendment advocates hope President Barack Obama’s executive actions on gun control could lead to Alabama lawmakers taking the opposite approach in the Yellowhammer State.
Senator Allen released the following statement contrasting the President’s approach with what he is trying to do with his “guns in cars” bill:
President Obama is shredding the Constitution. Obama’s executive order is squarely aimed at limiting the number of gun dealers in the United States with the underlying goal of reducing the number of places at which Americans can buy guns to protect their families.
President Obama realizes most Americans and their elected representatives in Congress oppose this anti-Second Amendment action. So once again, he resorts to a unilateral executive order to impose his will on the American people.
I will not stand idly by as this president gradually disarms Americans via executive fiat. I have introduced a bill for the 2016 legislative session that will extend Alabama’s existing Castle Doctrine to a person’s vehicle. You have a fundamental Second Amendment right to defend your family and home with a firearm. We shouldn’t require free citizens to get a gun permit to defend their person and property, and that should include your vehicle.
Supporters of Allen’s bill say it would ease restrictions on open-carriers and further ensure Alabamians’ ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights. The Alabama Sheriffs Association has opposed the bill in previous legislative sessions, saying it would make law enforcement officers’ jobs more difficult and could lead to more incidents of road rage. They also noted that sheriffs would lose some of the revenue they receive through pistol permits, which helps to fund their departments.