Alabama's governor has signed legislation that expands where people can carry guns in Alabama. The bill by Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale passed the Legislature Monday, and Bentley's office announced he signed it into law Wednesday.
House Speaker Mike Hubbard said the governor's signature makes Second Amendment rights more secure.
The new law says employees can have firearms in their cars at work, and businesses can't be sued for any harm resulting from the use of those weapons.
The main gun bill before Alabama lawmakers is headed to a compromise committee of senators and representatives.
Sen. Scott Beason, the Senate sponsor, says he couldn't sign off on the version that House members passed late last week after reaching a compromise that involved law enforcement leaders and the National Rifle Association.
Alabama lawmakers are one step from letting voters decide, at least in theory, whether to make it harder for government to adopt restrictions on firearms.
A proposed constitutional amendment would apply a judicial standard called strict scrutiny to any limits on possessing weapons. The proposal cleared a Senate committee Tuesday. It must pass the full Senate before it goes on a statewide ballot.
The Alabama House has begun debate on a bill that allows gun owners to carry a pistol in their vehicle.
Hartselle Republican Ed Henry says the bill's purpose is to protect the rights of citizens to carry arms.
Some of the supporters expressed concern that President Obama is using recent shootings at schools and other public shootings as a reason to pass legislation reducing the rights of Americans to bear arms.
The Alabama Senate has started a debate on easing some of the state's gun restrictions.
The Senate voted 26-7 Thursday to consider the bill, which was an indication of its support. The bill by Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale would allow workers to keep guns locked in their vehicles while at their jobs, and would allow people to get a lifetime permit to keep guns in their vehicles all the time.
The bill is supported by the National Rifle Association and opposed by some sheriffs and the Business Council of Alabama.
Leaders of the Alabama Senate say they expect to consider a bill easing some of Alabama's gun restrictions.
The bill by Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale is on the Senate's proposed work agenda for Thursday. The bill is supported by the National Rifle Association and opposed by some sheriffs and the Business Council of Alabama.
It would allow people to carry a pistol in their car without getting a pistol permit, and it would allow people to keep guns locked in their vehicles at work.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has promised to challenge in court two gun control bills that were approved by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee if they become law.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to approve a ban on semi-automatic weapons and ammunition magazines that carry more than ten rounds. The bill names more than 150 weapons that would be banned.
The Alabama Legislature will face several gun rights bills when it convenes Tuesday for its 2013 session.
Republican Rep. Mike Jones of Andalusia is offering a proposed constitutional amendment that would give Second Amendment rights the benefit of "strict scrutiny." That would require a compelling interest before regulating gun rights and would require that any limits on guns be narrowly tailored. The legislation is patterned after a bill the National Rifle Association got passed in Louisiana.
(Information in the following story is from: The Huntsville Times, http://www.al.com/huntsville)
A congressman from Huntsville says he believes New York wants to dictate gun control policy for Alabama and the rest of the nation.
Republican U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks is joining other Alabama elected officials in speaking out against tightening the nation's gun laws. President Barack Obama is pushing several proposals including bans on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines for ammunition.