Gun Bill goes to the House after compromise

A House Committee has approved a compromise version of a bill that allows gun owners to carry a pistol in their vehicle. House Speaker Mike Hubbard and representatives from the National Rifle Association, the Alabama Sheriff's Association and the Alabama District Attorney's Association announced their support for the compromise version of Senate Bill 286. Soon after, the House Commerce and Small Business Committee approved the substitute measure with a 6 - 2 vote. Hubbard said. "Balancing public safety needs, property rights and individual rights required a great deal of negotiation."

The Alabama Sheriffs' Association and the Alabama District Attorneys' Association, who were initially opposed to SB 286, said they were able to have their concerns addressed in the substitute version of the bill.

Provisions of the substitute bill include:

{}Individuals without a concealed carry permit would be allowed to carry a pistol in their car if it is unloaded, locked away, and out of reach of the driver or passenger.

{}Changes Alabama from a 'May Issue' to a 'Shall Issue' state. Sheriffs will be required to provide documented reasoning for denying permits, and individuals may appeal the issuing decision.

{}Requires employees to have either a valid concealed carry permit or a hunting license to carry a firearm onto a work site. Additionally, the employee cannot have been convicted of a violent crime, have been involuntarily committed, or have past incidents of domestic violence.

{}Provides employers with immunity against lawsuits in the event an employee brings a weapon to work and an incident occurs.

{}Expands the definition of "crimes of violence" to include all Class A felonies and Class B felonies that involve serious physical injury, distribution and manufacture of a controlled substance and crimes of a sexual nature involving children under 12. Individuals convicted of a "crime of violence" cannot own a firearm in Alabama.

The bill had already passed the Senate, but it will have to go back because of changes made in the compromise. The full House is expected to vote on the bill next week.