The Alabama's Sheriff's Association came out against the bill that would allow people to carry loaded guns in their vehicles without the need for a concealed carry permit, if it passes into law. Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely said it was a public safety issue.
The current law allows people to carry a gun in their vehicle without a concealed carry permit, however it has to be unloaded, locked away, and out of reach. Senator Scott Beason sponsored the bill that would let people carry a loaded pistol in their car without a permit. Sheriff Blakely said he is a big supporter of the right to bear arms, but he's concerned about people who would normally raise red flags if they had to apply for a concealed carry permit, not having to get the permit, going undetected and legally driving around with loaded guns.
Sheriff Blakely said, "My problem mostly with this bill is the fact that, you know, there are no provisions or nothing in this bill that allows for prohibiting those people that we know, whether it be people who are mentally ill, people that have a propensity for committing violent crime, restricting those people from being able to do this."
Alabamians do not have to get a conceal carry permit to have a loaded handgun in their home. Senator Beason and others contend a vehicle is an extension of your home.
Some gun rights supporters are in favor of the bill, however. Supporters of the bill said what good is having a gun to protect yourself if you can't reach it, and it's not loaded?
Craig Brown, owner of Craig's Guns and Tactical in Athens, said he considers his vehicle a part of his home and compares a carjacking to someone breaking into a home.
"Our cars are an extension of our home, and we are allowed to keep loaded guns at home," said Brown. "If somebody breaks into your house, you're allowed to have a loaded gun to defend yourself. So, by law we should also be allowed to have a loaded gun in our vehicle since it an extension of our home."
The bill has to pass the full senate and the house to become law.