The bill now moves to the House of Representatives where it is expected to incur lively debate, but ultimately enjoys the support of the Republican supermajority.
The Alabama Senate approved a bill Thursday to allow law-abiding citizens to carry loaded handguns in their vehicles without the need to pay for a concealed carry permit, calling it a measure to “strengthen the 2nd Amendment rights of Alabama citizens.”
“No one is required to have a permit to keep a handgun in his or her house. The Castle Doctrine states vehicles are an extension of a person’s home,” said Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa), the bill’s sponsor. “Therefore, adults should have the right to carry a pistol in their car without a permit.”
Only four members of the Senate voted against the measure, all Democrats.
Under Alabama’s current law, individuals must obtain a permit to carry a loaded gun in their car, otherwise they must keep the gun unloaded and locked away out of reach. None of the state’s neighbors have the same requirements.
“The government should not require a citizen to pay for a permit and ask for permission before carrying a handgun in a vehicle,” said Senator Allen. “A single mom who works in a dangerous part of town might decide to carry a pistol in her car for personal protection, and my bill means she won’t have to spend extra money to exercise her constitutional right.”