Should people be allowed to bring a concealed gun inside a church even with a permit to carry?
Two Democratic representatives in Alabama don't believe so. Representatives Thomas Jackson, D-Thomasville and Darrio Melton, D-Selma are proposing a bill to ban carrying a gun inside a church without permission even when the owner possesses a permit to carry a concealed gun.
Jackson is the sponsor of House Bill 3 while Melton is the co-sponsor. Jackson believes that people inside a church should be able to feel secure while they are inside a place of worship. Melton doesn't approve of civilians carrying firearms inside churches. He believes law enforcers should be the only ones who can bring guns.
Residents of Alabama don't need a permit to purchase and register handguns. It's also not a state requirement to license owners. However, a permit is necessary to carry guns.
Legal gun owners are required to wear a holster and carry a gun in plain sight. Those who are carrying a concealed gun must have a permit.
The law also lists places where guns are prohibited. Among those include police and sheriffs' offices, courthouses, mental health facilities, prison and buildings with district attorney's offices.
Churches are not included in the list but can post signs that ban firearms.
Jackson feels it would be better if there's an actual law that prohibits people from bringing guns inside churches. HB3 would amend the law that lists these places where guns are allowed to include churches.
But the two proponents could face a problem. There are only 33 Democrat seats in the 105-member House. Jackson acknowledges the possibility that the bill may not go anywhere. Still, he feels that this will get people talking.
"I figured it wouldn't go anywhere but at least it will get some conversation," he says.