The Alabama House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on controversial legislation today to allow Alabamians to voluntarily surrender their Second Amendment rights.
House Bill 462 (HB462) is sponsored by State Rep. Neal Rafferty (D-Birmingham).
According to the synopsis, “Under existing law, a person convicted for certain crimes may not possess, purchase, or transfer firearms. Existing law does not provide a method for an individual to restrict his or her own legal ability to receive, transport, or possess firearms due to a fear that he or she may become a risk to himself or herself or others. This bill would create the Voluntary Alabama Firearms Do-Not-Sell List and would allow an individual to restrict his or her ability to purchase or possess a firearm by voluntarily adding his or her own name to the Voluntary Alabama Firearms Do-Not-Sell List when there is a fear that he or she may become a risk to himself or herself or others.”
Providing this service would not be cheap.
According to the fiscal note, “House Bill 462 as amended and reported by the Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security could increase the obligations of the Department of Mental Health by a department-estimated $800,000 in fiscal year 2023 and an additional $50,000 each fiscal year thereafter to create and maintain the Voluntary Alabama Firearms Do-Not-Sell List and associated internet-based platform. This bill could further increase the obligations of the department by a department-estimated $200,000 in fiscal year 2023 to develop and implement a public relations campaign regarding this list. This bill could also increase the administrative obligations of the Board of Examiners in Counseling, the Board of Medical Examiners, the Board of Nursing, and the Board of Examiners in Psychology to adopt rules to encourage licensees to inform the public of the Do-Not-Sell List. Further, this bill could increase the administrative obligations of the circuit clerk’s office to accept and transmit Do-Not-Sell List registration information to the department."
The fiscal note goes on to say that people could potentially be fined and/or jailed for selling or transferring a firearm to a person who has voluntarily surrendered his or her Second Amendment rights.
(Fiscal note continued) “Finally, this bill could increase receipts to the State General Fund and municipal general funds from fines; increase receipts to the State General Fund, county general funds, municipal general funds, and other funds to which court costs are deposited; and could increase the obligations of the State General Fund, district attorneys, and local jails by an undetermined amount dependent upon the number of persons charged with and convicted of the offenses provided by this bill and the penalties imposed.”
The fiscal note was prepared by State Rep. Allen Treadaway (R-Morris), who chairs the House Homeland Committee.
Bamacarry’s Eddie Fulmer said that his group opposes this legislation and questions its Constitutionality.
The state presently does not maintain a list of Alabamians who have chosen to voluntarily permanently surrender their voting rights, free speech rights, right to a jury trial, religious liberties, or any other rights guaranteed to the citizens of this country by the Constitution.
Supporters argue that this is necessary for people who feel that they are having suicidal or homicidal thoughts, but who do not want to go through the process of being declared legally mentally incompetent.
Tuesday will be day 24 of the 2022 Alabama Regular Legislative Session. The legislature can meet for a maximum of seven more legislative days under the 1901 Constitution but is not required to use all 30 of their days.
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