BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) - Rifles, shotguns and handguns were all available at the Gun Show at the Baldwin County Coliseum in Robertsdale.
But the talk was not all about the goods available. A proposed bill that would loosen gun restrictions in Alabama was also on a lot of minds.
A compromised version of Senate Bill 286 recently passed the House of Representatives. It would change Alabama from a "May Issue" to a "Shall Issue" state when it comes to gun permits.
However, sheriffs can deny pistol permit applications but have to send a letter telling the applicant the reason for the denial. Another change allows individuals to apply for a five year permit to keep a loaded weapon in their vehicles; it was previously a lifetime permit.
Josh South is the vice president of Outpost Enterprises Elite Gun Store. He said he understands the concerns of law enforcement officers.
"They do a great job protecting us, but it comes at a cost to them. Before this bill, only citizens with a concealed weapons permit could carry a gun in their car. This will broaden the number of people carrying guns in vehicles," said South.
Under the compromised bill, individuals without a concealed pistol permit would still be allowed to carry a pistol in their vehicle if it's unloaded, locked away and out of reach of the driver or passengers.
The compromised gun bill was sent back to the Senate, which still has to approve the changes.
Meantime, many people at the gun show are happy that more federal regulations have not passed. Some of the proposals include a ban on assault-style weapons, high capacity ammunition clips, and expanded background checks for gun sales.
South said a big misconception is that background checks are not routinely done at gun shows.
"There are enough laws on the books that address this and they should be enforced. As a federally licensed dealer, we have to run a background check on everyone through the FBI. So when we sell a firearm, we know they are someone who can responsibly have one," said South.
South said one of the biggest issues facing gun enthusiasts is the availability of ammunition because demand exceeds what manufacturers can produce. He believes Congress' failure to pass gun legislation and Alabama lawmakers efforts to ease gun restrictions will help alleviate some of the demand.
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