MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — With their annual session nearing its end, Alabama lawmakers have yet to settle on changes to the state's gun laws, even as leaders of both chambers say they want to relax restrictions on gun possession.
The primary gun measure began as a push to allow employees to have weapons in their cars while at work and has grown into a lengthy bill with numerous provisions. But the House and Senate have yet to agree on a final plan, and Senate Bill 286 appears headed for a compromise committee of lawmakers from each chamber.
The sponsor, Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale, said he's concerned that the House version doesn't do enough to protect gun owners' rights.
Meanwhile, differences remain over the circumstances under which an employee can keep a gun in his car at a place of employment and when a citizen can carry a weapon in public.
The chambers appear to have agreed to exempt businesses from civil liability related to the use of an employee's gun — a key win for business lobbyists. Lawmakers say they've also agreed to require that sheriffs issue a reason for denying a concealed weapons permit and allow appeals of any denial. And both chambers' leaders say they want to relax restrictions on citizens' carrying weapons openly in Alabama and carrying weapons in their vehicles.
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