New bill to make carrying a gun illegal in Alabama churches without permission

(Photo: Reuters)

Despite the expectation of strong opposition from Republicans, two congressmen from Alabama have filed a bill in the House of Representatives that seeks a gun ban on all churches in the state.

Reps. Thomas Jackson of Thomasville, and Rep. Darrio Melton of Selma have pre filed the bill for the March 3 session and expect the bill to raise a lot of questions and a lot of hackles in the Alabama House.

"I figured it wouldn't go anywhere but at least it will get some conversation," Jackson said.

House Bill 3 seeks to keep citizens from carrying guns in churches even if they are in possession of permits for concealed weapons.

In a report posted on, Melton said that he wants to pass the law because he believes that people in law enforcement should be the only ones allowed to carry weapons inside churches.

While Republicans are likely to try and block the measure, Melton said that their bill merely seeks to update the list of areas where guns are not allowed.

In 2013, a bill involving the regulation of firearms was passed but churches were not one of the areas where guns were prohibited.

If the bill is passed, violators could be penalised by as much as $500 and face jail time of up to three months.

Alabama is among the states that has comprehensive gun regulation laws as it upholds each citizen's right to bear arms "in defense of himself and the State."

The passage of the Safe Carry and Protections Act, more popularly known as the "Guns Everywhere" Law, allowed citizens to bear arms anywhere so long as they have their permit.

The court in Alabama has allowed certain establishments some discretion in choosing whether to restrict weapons from their facilities.

Among the areas allowed discretion over gun bans are churches, schools and government offices.  The bill would make the ban mandatory in churches.