Carrying a gun in your car is illegal if you don't have a conceal carry permit in Alabama. SB-286 creates a lifetime conceal carry permit just for driving.
"You can open carry in your home you can open carry when you get somewhere but you couldn't get it to point A to point B without a permit you had to pay for," says bill sponsor and State Senator Scott Beason.
The rest of the bill remains largely intact. Conceal carry permits can be issued starting at age 18--in Mobile and some other counties the minimum age is 21. The bill spends several pages prohibiting business owners from stopping their employees from keeping guns in their cars.
"I think they have a right to have gun in their vehicle because that business owner's not going to guarantee the safety of my wife because she has to go to and from work," says Beason. The Mobile Chamber of Commerce is one of a number of groups who argue that puts gun rights ahead of personal property rights.
"That's totally opposed to what an employer needs to do to be able to run their business and run it profitably," says Ginny Russell with the chamber. The most vocal opposition has come from Alabama sheriffs like Mobile's Sam Cochran. He's not surprised it passed without law enforcement's blessing.
"They had already agreed and there were no circumstances where they were going to reasonably listen to law enforcement," says Sam Cochran. The bill strips them of the ability to deny a pistol permit--now they have to take it to a judge.
"We would have to state with specificity that they will commit an act now I can't predict the future to put will, rather than likely--it used to be likely--, that's an obstacle, there's no way someone can predict the future."