Gun bill making right to bear arms fundamental on hold - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Gun bill making right to bear arms fundamental on hold

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© A gun rights bill is under fire by Democrats in Montgomery. (abc3340.com) © A gun rights bill is under fire by Democrats in Montgomery. (abc3340.com)
MONTGOMERY - AL -

A gun rights bill is under fire. It would change the Alabama Constitution to protect the right to bear arms. However, a vote is now on hold until it gets more support from Democrats.

Republican Representative Mike Jones of Andalusia is a member of the National Rifle Association and a gun owner. He wants to add one word- fundamental to the Alabama Constitution to give gun owners the highest level of protection in courts and to preserve a way of life.

"We grew up in a culture that involves hunting, in culture being taught to defend our families and defend our homes. It's how we grew up," said Jones.

These bills that strengthen gun owners' rights have the governor's backing.

"I'm a strong proponent. I am very much for our Constitution and our right to own and bear arms in this country," said Governor Robert Bentley.

But it's under fire by Democrats.

"I have a philosophic problem with us introducing pieces of legislation to the people of Alabama tricking them as if we are protecting their Second Amendment rights. This bill without ratification from Congress does absolutely nothing," said Representative Merika Coleman-Evans, (D) Birmingham.

Jones, an attorney, doesn't agree.

"This constitutional amendment specifically says subject to the U.S. Constitution. We took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and Alabama Constitution. We aren't trying to throw away one," he said.

The bill is being carried over to give Democrats and Republicans more time to work on the legislation.

Representative Craig Ford, (D) Gadsden, also has a gun bill that allows people to keep guns in their cars at work. It's a bill he fears will be met by opposition by business groups and Republicans.

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