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A bi-partisan effort Thursday by the Alabama Senate led to passage of a bill that will ease some of the state's gun restrictions. The vote on Senate Bill 286 was 27-5.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Scott Beason (R-Gardendale), makes it legal for guns to be locked inside a person's vehicle while they're at work and would okay a person's ability to obtain a lifetime, though revocable, permit to have a gun in their vehicle at all times.
Beason said certain aspects of current state law could be misapplied in a way that restricts Alabamians' Second Amendment right granted by the U.S. Constitution.
"In light of recent attempts from the federal government to chip away at our constitutional right to bear arms, we have to do everything we can at the state level to preserve these rights," Beason said. "It's imperative that we make sure there are no aspects of state law that could be misinterpreted in a way that keeps us from protecting our families, our homes and ourselves."
Before its passage, Senator Bryan Taylor (R-Prattville) tacked an amendment onto the legislation known as the "Castle Doctrine". That doctrine refers to the provision of Alabama law that affords heightened legal protection to someone who uses deadly force in self defense against home intruders. Taylor's amendment would give the same legal protection to someone who uses deadly force against an intruder at a business after the business has closed to the public.
The National Rifle Association is backing Beason's legislation, but some Alabama sheriff have come out against the measure.
The legislation now goes to the Alabama House for that chamber's approval.
Components of Senate Bill 286 include:
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