MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WALA) - A controversial gun bill passed the Alabama House of Representatives Thursday, May 2 with some changes.
After the Senate passed SB286 , the House of Representatives negotiated with law enforcement officials about to address some of their concerns. The product was a substitute bill that both parties agreed on but that didn't prevent a testy debate between lawmakers.
The bill passed the House 74-27. The bill loosens some regulations on guns in the state of Alabama.
In it's original form, the bill had many opponents.
Early on, Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran got on board with several Alabama sheriffs, calling the bill dangerous.
Sgt. Randall Dueitt said there were parts that made Cochran uneasy.
"One of the big issues that the sheriff had concerns with was this universal vehicle pistol permit, which allowed not only the owner of the vehicle but any one who used that vehicle to carry a pistol," said Dueitt.
That and several other provisions were changed, which brought law enforcement on board. However, the new bill still has some issues, according to Dueitt.
The sheriff's office was opposed to the original thought of giving lifetime pistol permits. That provision changed to five year permits.
The problem, according to Dueitt, was that the permit holder doesn't have to notify the county if they move.
"If they were going to go to that residence to serve a warrant or issue a paper, they wouldn't be aware that the resident was a pistol permit holder," said Dueitt.
There were several representatives that opposed the provisions, sparking a more than three-hour debate.
"When you shift the paradigm, it ultimately creates a more comfortable atmosphere for gun possession and open gun possession. It limits the effect for law enforcement to investigate," said one representative.
The changes will be sent back to the Senate. If the senators pass the bill it will head to the governor's desk to be signed into law. If not, it will go to a committee.
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