Opposition to Bill SB 286

Alabama Senator Scott Beason’s proposed bill, SB 286, has created quite a stir. If passed, the bill would allow for concealed carry in vehicles without a permit, prohibit sheriffs from denying a carry license without showing cause, and permit the carrying of firearms at demonstrations. Not surprisingly the bill has been met with hostility from many sides. In challenging the proposed legislation, the Business Council of Alabama per CEO Canary has stated that the group will oppose the bill because it threatens the rights of business owners. This, I think, is a failing argument. Although businesses may have some rights in relation to their respective employees, the Constitution guarantees its protections to the people over and above lesser rights. Instead, the key for the opposition should be to attack the weaknesses in the bill itself. While the Constitution expressly permits the “keep(ing) and bear(ing) [of] arms”, SB 286 goes a step further. For example, the First Amendment right to assemble is notably preceded by the term “peaceably”; something SB 286 is likely to run against.