New Gun Bill Causes Concern
A new bill could make changes to Alabama's new gun law that could allow you to carry a loaded gun in your car without a permit.
But not everyone is sure that more guns in vehicles would be safe.
The latest gun law, which clarified the state's open carry policy, only went into affect last August. But there's already a push to change it again.
Under current law you have to have a permit to carry a loaded pistol in your car.
A new bill, that passed in a committee this week, would change that so you wouldn't need that permit anymore.
And that has Montgomery County Sheriff DT Marshall concerned.
"There's a likelihood that people with mental problems might be involved in a wreck, might be involved in road rage, so instead of pulling over and having to go get their gun and load it, they may just pull that gun out and shoot somebody and take off," said Sheriff Marshall.
And he's not the only one worried about firearms in cars.
"Guns are dangerous even if you have them at home. Even more so if you're carrying one around in a car. You never know what might happen at any given time and carrying a gun, whether it's loaded or unloaded, means there's a danger of theft, there's a danger it might go off accidentally if it's loaded," said Montgomery resident Rose McCall.
But some say that the bill only strengthens your second amendment rights.
"I don't have a problem with it. I think the issue is what good is an unloaded firearm? If you're going to carry it on your side, it needs to be loaded. If you're going to carry it in your car, it needs to be loaded," said Montgomery resident Bert Bodiford.
The bill is sponsored by Senator Scott Beason who isn't running for re-election.
Whether the bill passes or not, Sheriff Marshall is surprised it came up at all this session.
"In all the negotiations on this gun bill last year they were supposed to, they gave their word they wouldn't try to make any changes to this. Well, what do they do? Beason says he didn't give his word, but what about all these other people?" said Sheriff Marshall.
The Sheriff's Association has voiced their opposition as well. They say they're concerned both about public safety and the possible decrease in revenue for sheriff's departments.
The bill still needs to make it through both the full house and the senate before it goes to the governor's desk to become law.