What Do Alabama’s New Gun Laws Do?

hunter in the forestNew laws in Alabama went into effect at the beginning of September that make it tougher for certain people to be able to buy firearms.

For over 100 years, state courts have looked to evidence of legislative intent when construing state law. The idea of the new laws is to make it tougher for mentally ill patients to get a hold of firearms, and to help protect victims of domestic violence.

“[This bill] expands it to where the feds already are and hopefully will provide further protection for those in domestic violence situations or prevent those with a mental illness from legally purchasing a weapon,” said State Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, who sponsored the legislation.

Under the new laws, anyone who’s been convicted of committing or attempting to commit a violent crime, anyone who’s been convicted of committing or attempting a crime of domestic violence, anyone with a protection order against them, and anyone not of sound mind is not allowed to possess a gun.

In order to make sure mentally ill patients can’t get their hands on a weapon, probate judges must now also report to law enforcement each and every person who is involuntarily committed for mental illness. Judges need to also report anyone found not guilty for mental disease or defect to law enforcement.

Those who have lost their right to bear arms under the new law can appeal to have that right reinstated.

That’s not all they do, either. A minor is now allowed to carry a pistol for use in a firearm or hunter safety course, organized competition, hunting, and self-defense in his or her own residence — so long as he or she has the permission of a parent, or a legal guardian, who is permitted to carry a weapon.

Employees are now also allowed to keep a firearm in their privately-owned vehicles while they’re parked in a parking area, private or public.

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