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Alabama Moms Demand Action Celebrates Defeat of Dangerous Permitless Carry, Nullification Bills as Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

May 19, 2021

The Alabama chapter of Moms Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after the Alabama legislature adjourned sine die without passing either HB 405 or SB 358. HB 405 was a bill which sought to eliminate criminal responsibility for carrying a loaded gun in public without a permit. Passing HB 405 would have eroded Alabama’s tradition of responsible gun ownership and allowed people to carry concealed, loaded handguns in public without a background check. SB 358 was a dangerous nullification bill which would have prohibited state and local law enforcement, prosecutors, and other officials from doing their jobs and enforcing common-sense federal gun safety laws. 

“We’re glad that our lawmakers listened to the outcries from people who know just how much risk these dangerous gun bills could put us all in,” said Dana Ellis, a volunteer with the Alabama chapter of Moms Demand Action. “These bills would have worsened Alabama’s devastating gun violence epidemic – we already face the second highest rate of gun death and injury in the country. Next session, there’s much more we can do, working together, to prevent gun violence.”

What to know about permitless carry in Alabama:

  • Legislation to decriminalize permitless carry, like HB 405, would have allowed people to carry loaded handguns in public without a background check, dismantling Alabama’s culture of responsible gun ownership.
  • Permitless carry would take away a critical tool that law enforcement uses to differentiate between responsible gun owners and those who are prohibited from possessing guns. 
  • Permitless carry would also allow people with dangerous histories – including extremists and white supremacists with criminal histories – to evade background check requirements and safeguards to responsible gun ownership. 
  • More information about permitless carry is available here.

What to know about nullification bills in Alabama:

  • SB 358 would have caused a chilling effect among law enforcement who are on the frontlines of the gun violence crisis and threatened to punish them with punitive lawsuits and criminal penalties for simply doing their job to keep Alabama safe. It also threatened to jeopardize state funding for Alabama local governments. 
  • SB 358 contained dangerous provisions that would have encouraged criminal activity, created confusion, and undermined the rule of law in Alabama.
  • At a time when the threat from armed extremism is high, this bill would have only encouraged anti-government sentiment and the threat of violence from extremists. 
  • SB 358 would have sent a false message to criminals that federal gun laws would not be enforced in Alabama.
    • After Kansas passed a nullification bill, two Kansas men were prosecuted for illegally making and possessing firearm accessories they falsely believed were exempt from federal regulation. An appeals court rejected their argument that they were protected under Kansas’ nullification law.
    • During debates over local “second amendment sanctuary” resolutions in Virginia, e-mails from one Virginia county showed people believing that the resolutions had swept away all gun laws and some people who had been convicted of felonies happily declared that they had got their gun rights back.

What to know about gun violence in Alabama

  • In Alabama, on average, 1,054 people are shot and killed with a gun every year; Alabama has the second highest rate of gun deaths in the U.S. and the fourth highest rate of gun homicide.
  • Each year, 3,422 people are wounded by guns in Alabama; Alabama has the second highest rate of gun injuries in the U.S.
  • At an average cost of $1,654 per person each year, Alabama has the third highest per person cost of gun violence in the U.S.

Statistics about gun violence in Alabama are available here, and Everytown’s Gun Law Navigator – which shows how Alabama gun laws compare to those of other states – is available hereIf you have questions, or to request an interview with a volunteer from Alabama Moms Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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