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Alabama lawmakers pass bill blocking federal gun control

Row of handguns. (US Coast Guard Academy/Released)
April 13, 2022

On Thursday, the Alabama legislature passed a bill designed to block state and local officials from enforcing rules on firearms issued through presidential executive orders. The bill is awaiting the governor’s signature.

The Alabama Second Amendment Preservation Act, SB2, passed the Alabama House 68-28 following an amendment. The state’s Senate later agreed with the changes in a vote of 23-5 and sent the bill to Gov. Kay Ivey, who can sign the legislation into law.

“The people of Alabama are concerned about this issue,” said GOP Rep. David Standridge, according to The Montgomery Advertiser. “People are concerned about losing their rights to own firearms.”

The bill prohibits “enforcement of certain presidential executive orders which provide certain limitations or restrictions on the ownership, use, or possession of firearms and accessories and ammunition thereof.”

It also bars state and local public funds from being used “for the enforcement of any executive order issued by the President of the United States which limits or restricts the ownership, use, or possession of firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories by law-abiding residents of the state.”

Democrat lawmakers claimed that the legislation would not hold up under constitutional scrutiny.  

“State law can’t supersede federal law,” said Democrat Rep. Merika Coleman. “So if that is the case, this piece of legislation is not worth the weight of the paper that it is written on.”

On the other hand, Republican lawmakers argued that the bill protects Alabamans against President Joe Biden’s violations of the U.S. Constitution.

“It’s very important for each of us to be reminded that the state of Alabama and the people support the Constitution of the United States of America,” said Sen. Gerald Allen, who sponsored the bill, as reported by The Montgomery Advertiser.

The bill’s passage came just days before Mr. Biden announced new gun control via executive edict, including cracking down on so-called untraceable “ghost guns,” forcing licensed gun dealers to keep gun purchase records in perpetuity and providing gun buyers’ information to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

During a speech on Monday, the president also called gun dealers “merchants of death” and argued that Americans don’t need “20 bullets” because “deer [don’t] wear Kevlar vests.”

Earlier this year, Gov. Ivey signed into law a bill that allowed residents of Alabama to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.

“Unlike states who are doing everything in their power to make it harder for law abiding citizens, Alabama is reaffirming our commitment to defending our Second Amendment rights,” Ivey said in a statement. “I have always stood up for the rights of law abiding gunowners, and I am proud to do that again today.”