Should a Permit be Required for Loaded Pistols in Vehicles?

Should a Permit be Required for Loaded Pistols in Vehicles?

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The law requires anyone carrying a loaded weapon in their car to have a pistol permit and to keep the pistol out of sight. 
A bill making its way through the Alabama legislature hopes to change that, saying a permit should not be require for anyone who wants to carry a loaded weapon in their car. It's a proposal local law enforcement aren't too happy about.

"This bill effectively removes the pistol permit requirement to carry a loaded firearm in your vehicle and so in effect juveniles can carry loaded firearms in their vehicles with no recourse for law enforcement and to me it's not just irresponsible, but it's downright absurd," said Chief James Barber.

The bill would make it possible for teenagers as young as 16-years old to carry a loaded weapon inside a car. It would also not require a pistol permit which means no background check would be required. Sheriff Cochran says the bill is problematic.

"To remove the requirement of a background check and have anyone particularly teenagers carrying loaded pistols in their vehicles, or you can have the scenario of convicted felons riding in vehicles with loaded pistols. As long as one person in the car was not a convicted felon, they could claim that pistol. So it's a deadly dangerous scenario for law enforcement," Cochran said.

I asked people what they thought about the bill.

"There are lots of people who already carry loaded weapons in their car and they don't care if there's a law or not so it seems to me that it makes sense that a law abiding citizen should be able to carry a loaded weapon in his or her car," said Tom Salter.

"Safety is a big issue on that," said Cody Blackerby.

"The problem with gun ownership is that it rest in the sole owner of the gun to make a good decision," said Alex Crow.

Both the police chief and sheriff say they are not against people defending themselves, they're just working to keep people safe.

"This particular law would change law that's been on the books for 80 years. For more than 80 years it's been required to have a pistol permit to carry a loaded pistol in a vehicle but this is an irresponsible bill and it's going to lead to several dangerous situations," said Cochran.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill by a 6 to 2 vote. The bill now moves to the full senate.

The Mobile County Sheriff's Office is taking any questions regarding the bill. For more information click here.
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