Yesterday, the Alabama Senate voted to pass SB2, dangerous legislation to prevent state funding and state and local officials from assisting with the enforcement of presidential executive orders aimed at preventing gun violence. This law could have a chilling effect on law enforcement working to maintain public safety in their communities, further tying the hands of local authorities amidst Alabama’s ongoing gun violence crisis.
Across the country, nullification laws have been opposed by law enforcement and local officials in other states that have passed them, creating a sharp backlash, including multiple lawsuits in Missouri. Just last month, the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit to prevent Missouri from enforcing its nullification law, arguing that the law is clearly unconstitutional and is already hampering joint drug and weapons investigations and cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement. The suit should serve as a reminder to Alabama lawmakers that efforts to nullify life-saving gun safety laws will not go unchallenged.
The last thing Alabama needs is an additional barrier to gun violence prevention. The state already has weak firearm laws, scoring only 18 out of 100 for gun law strength while suffering the fourth-worst gun violence rate in the country. Following the passage of permitless carry last month, the state now lacks all foundational gun safety laws. Everytown’s interactive gun law platform — which shows the direct correlation between the strength of a state’s gun laws and its rate of gun deaths — is available here.
In an average year, 1,090 people die by guns in Alabama, and 3,422 more are wounded. Guns are the leading cause of death among the state’s youth population. More information about gun violence in Alabama is available here.