New stolen gun law passes major test in Alabama House

Local News

UPDATE: Mobile Public Safety Director James Barber tells News 5 the bill passed the house committee unanimously. It would make posession of a stolen fire arm a class c felony. 

MONTGOMERY, AL (WIAT) — Law enforcement from around the state are asking lawmakers to upgrade the penalty for someone who possesses a stolen gun. Many of them met with lawmakers Tuesday in Montgomery.

Back in January, two Alabama police officers were killed just days apart, one of those officers was Birmingham police officer Wytasha Carter and Mobile police officer Sean Tuder. It was later determined that both officers were killed by a stolen gun.

“I’ve buried two officers in the last 11 months,” said Lawrence Battiste, Mobile Police Chief.

This issue hits close to home for Mobile police chief Lawrence Battiste

“We’ve got to do something to be more aggressive to make it more of a deterrent for someone to possess a stolen handgun.”

As major cities around Alabama combat violent crime, they’re hoping lawmakers can help.

“This time we’re coming forward asking you to give us the tools to do our job each and every day,” said Patrick Smith, Birmingham police chief.

Birmingham’s police chief Patrick Smith says, so far this year his officers have taken 757 handguns off the streets.

“You’ve got to look at this whole situation nationwide as we all work across the nation to combat gun crime.”

A proposed bill by Rep. Matt Simpson would make it a class “C” felony to have a stolen gun, which in Alabama carries up to ten years in prison.

“This enhancement would match the punishment for theft of property in the second degree, it is the same exact language.”

The bill didn’t get a vote Wednesday it was carried over to next week.

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