Gun-related amendment to appear on November ballot

Published 09/02 2014 06:23PM

Updated 09/02 2014 08:55PM

Legislators say state law protecting the right to carry a gun is not enough. 

"Our courts have said that government can basically pass a restriction on gun rights, as long as they have any rational reason for doing it, any reasonable purpose, which basically means, short of a complete ban on guns, that anything would pass," said State Representative Mike Jones (R-Andalusia, Dist. 92).

So he proposed House Bill 8 to amend Section 26 of the Alabama Constitution.  The amendment states "every citizen has a fundamental right to bear arms and any restriction on this right would be subject to strict scrutiny."

Meaning it would make it harder for the government to impose gun restrictions.  He says it also addresses concerns that the president could appoint a new federal judge before his term ends.

"If that were to happen, and the justice had a difference of opinion, than the law is today, then that means the state would be the ones interpreting gun rights, so we want have our constitution make sure it says it's a fundamental right."

Opponents say more gun restrictions are needed and the amendment will only cause more gun-related crimes.  Other disagree.

"I do feel that guns, I personally have one, I feel they make me safer, a lot safer, and honestly, if someone's going to have a gun, they're going to have a gun, because they probably didn't acquire it legally, anyway," said Alabama resident Joseph Vinson.

"The government is trying to take away the right to bear arms, and all that does is leave the innocent unprotected," said Yvette Gagnon, another Alabama resident.”

And for some, there are no clear answers when it comes to gun laws.

"It's unbalanced, one person pushing one way and one pushing the other, and we really don't want these criminals to have guns, because of all the crime going on. So, you know, it's a tough issue," said Dothan resident Betty Tolliver.

It's now up to voters to decide if the law will be amended. The proposed amendment will appear on the November ballot.

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