An Alabama legislator is pushing previously proposed legislation that would make it legal for employees to carry and store handguns at work for protection.
State Senator Roger Bedford (D-Russellville) said his bill will increase the safety of Alabamians working at private businesses as well as when they’re traveling to and from work.
The bill, which has failed in the past despite support from the National Rifle Association, aims to prevent employers from barring their employees from transporting and storing guns during work hours on company property. It would also mandate that those who opt to bring a firearm to work keep it locked away and out of sight. The bill doesn’t provide for guns to be allowed on school campuses or anywhere else where they are already prohibited by Federal law.
According to The Montgomery Advertiser, the Business Council of Alabama has opposed the measure.
The group’s president, Bill Canary, said in an interview: “At a time when the business community in all sectors should be focused on creating jobs, we instead are dealing with this unnecessary legislation which erodes the constitutional property rights of businesses. Alabama businesses are already struggling with burdensome regulations that impact productivity and increase costs.”
Some supporters of the measure, however, have pointed out dismal crime statistics in Birmingham (the State’s largest city) as an example of why the bill could benefit Alabamians. In 2011, there were 54 murders, 182 cases of rape, 1,011 robberies and 1,916 aggravated assaults recorded in the city, earning it No. 7 among the Nation’s top 25 most dangerous cities. About 15 violent crimes took place per 1,000 Birmingham residents that year.