Alabama draws line in the sand with Feds on guns

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

The state of Alabama loves its guns. They’re not the most pro-gun state, but they are definitely on the list, that’s for sure.

As such, it’s not surprising that a number of pro-gun bills have been filed for this upcoming legislative cycle in the state. One of which is constitutional carry, which I figure has a high likelihood of passing.

However, there are a couple of other bills that, if they pass, will put them squarely at odds with the federal government.

Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 7 would both create the Alabama Second Amendment Preservation Act. This act would prohibit state law enforcement from enforcing any federal law, or other legislation, regarding the regulation of firearms, firearm accessories or ammo.

The bills would also set up penalties for whatever agency violates the proposed bill. The penalty for a first offense is a class C misdemeanor with a fine no less than $500 or more than $5,000. For all other offenses, it is a class B misdemeanor with a fine no less than $1,000 or more than $7,000.

In other words, it’ll be much like Missouri’s law that went into effect earlier this year.

That law hasn’t really been tested in the courts yet, so we don’t know how that will go, so Alabama following suit may or may not be a great move for them.

However, there’s another bill that may cause far more problems.

A different bill, House Bill 13, would prohibit state law enforcement from enforcing any federal bill or other legislation pertaining to the regulation of firearms, firearm accessories or ammo, just like Senate Bill 2. However, this only pertains to those made and sold in Alabama.

Under existing constitution law, Congress is given the authority to regulate interstate commerce. This bill would provide that firearms, ammo and firearm accessories that are made in the state and are only traded within the state are not subject to federal law or regulation.

Now, on the surface, this looks great for Alabama and I happen to agree with the reasoning behind this bill.

That said, Kansas passed a bill like this a while back. There are now people in prison because they figured the law would protect them, but the courts disagreed.

Alabama is free to pass the bill, of course, but if you live there and think that once it does, you can go out and build yourself a machinegun, well, I have some very bad news for you.

It should be noted that the prosecutions in Kansas have been upheld by the courts, so there’s no reason to believe Alabama residents would have any better luck.

Frankly, this is a bill that probably shouldn’t be passed. Yes, it’s pro-gun and yes, I agree with the reasoning and thinking behind it. However, there are people who will think this gives them license to do things that it really can’t. It’ll hurt good, decent people who simply don’t realize they’re doing anything wrong.

That doesn’t benefit anyone, I’m afraid, so it’s probably for the best if this doesn’t actually get passed.

Then again, this may be a bridge too far for some lawmakers in the state anyway.