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March 15, 2013

Alabama Senate Bill 286

— SYNOPSIS:This bill would consolidate certain preemption language regarding the authority of counties and municipalities to regulate certain activity related to firearms and would provide civil remedies for persons adversely affected by unauthorized action of a county or municipality relating to firearm regulation. This bill would provide for the possession of a pistol in a motor vehicle and would provide that the mere presence of a pistol in a vehicle does not create a presumption that the pistol is concealed. This bill would provide that lawfully carrying a firearm under certain conditions does not, in and of itself, constitute the crime of disorderly conduct. This bill would require a sheriff to issue or deny a concealed pistol permit within 30 days of receipt of the application and accompanying fees, would specify that the license must be renewed from one to five years from the date of issuance, would provide for the revocation of licenses, and would provide an appeals process for license denials and revocations. This bill would specify certain eligibility requirements for the issuance of a pistol permit and would further provide for the permit fee. This bill would provide for the issuance of pistol permits to applicants who are not United States citizens under certain conditions and would authorize employers to restrict employees from carrying concealed pistols under limited circumstances. This bill would require a report from the National Instant Background Check System as part of the investigation process relating to the issuance of a concealed pistol permit. This bill would authorize the Attorney General to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states for the mutual recognition of licenses to carry pistols. This bill would further provide for the carrying of a pistol on public and private property in certain locations. This bill would allow employees to transport or store a firearm in the employee's privately-owned motor vehicle under certain conditions and would prohibit an employer from inquiring whether the employee is transporting or storing a firearm in a vehicle and would provide certain remedies for employees. This bill would require state and local entities to allow certain persons on property of the state or local entity to check a firearm at a designated entrance for secure storage while the person is on the property. This bill would specify that a person or business entity has no duty to guard against the criminal acts of a third party relating to firearm use or otherwise. This bill would prohibit a business entity or property owner or legal possessor from establishing policies against persons transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition when the person is otherwise in compliance with all other applicable laws under certain conditions and would provide certain remedies for violations. This bill would repeal the prohibition against the possession of a firearm at a public demonstration. Amendment 621 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as Section 111.05 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, prohibits a general law whose purpose or effect would be to require a new or increased expenditure of local funds from becoming effective with regard to a local governmental entity without enactment by a 2/3 vote unless: it comes within one of a number of specified exceptions; it is approved by the affected entity; or the Legislature appropriates funds, or provides a local source of revenue, to the entity for the purpose. The purpose or effect of this bill would be to require a new or increased expenditure of local funds within the meaning of the amendment. However, the bill does not require approval of a local governmental entity or enactment by a 2/3 vote to become effective because it comes within one of the specified exceptions contained in the amendment.

A BILL

TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT

Relating to firearms; to amend Section 11-80-11, Code of Alabama 1975, to consolidate certain preemption language regarding the authority of counties and municipalities to regulate certain activity related to firearms; to provide civil remedies to persons adversely affected by unauthorized action of a county or municipality relating to firearm regulation; to amend Section 13A-11-7, Code of Alabama 1975, to provide that the lawful carrying of a firearm under certain conditions does not constitute the crime of disorderly conduct; to amend Section 13A-11-73, Code of Alabama 1975, to further provide for the possession of a pistol in a motor vehicle; to provide that the mere presence of a pistol in a vehicle does not create a presumption that the pistol is concealed; to amend Section 13A-11-75, Code of Alabama 1975, to require a sheriff to issue a concealed pistol permit within a certain time frame; to increase the renewal period; to provide certain eligibility requirements for the issuance of the permit; to provide for the revocation of a permit; to provide an appeals process for denials and revocations of permits; to further provide for the permit fee; to provide for the issuance of permits to applicants who are not United States citizens under certain conditions; to require a report from the National Instant Background Check System as part of the investigation process relating to the issuance of a concealed pistol permit; to amend Section 13A-11-85, Code of Alabama 1975, to authorize the Attorney General to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states for the mutual recognition of licenses to carry pistols; to allow employees to transport or store a firearm in the employee's privately-owned motor vehicle under certain conditions; to prohibit an employer from inquiring whether the employee is transporting or storing a firearm in a private vehicle; to prohibit a business entity or property owner or legal possessor, from establishing policies against persons transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition when the person is otherwise in compliance with all other applicable laws under certain conditions; to further provide for the carrying of pistols on private and public property; to require certain procedures for checking and storing firearms on property of the state and political subdivisions thereof; to specify that a person or business entity has no duty to guard against the criminal acts of a third party; to repeal Section 11-45-1.1, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the authority of a municipality to enact ordinances relating to handguns, Section 13A-11-52, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the carry of a pistol on the property of another, and Section 13A-11-59, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the possession of firearms by persons participating in or attending demonstrations at public places; and in connection therewith would have as its purpose or effect the requirement of a new or increased expenditure of local funds within the meaning of Amendment 621 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as Section 111.05 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:

Section 1. Section 11-80-11, Code of Alabama 1975, is amended to read as follows:

§11-80-11.

"(a) No county or municipal corporation, instrumentality, or political subdivision thereof, by ordinance, resolution, or other enactment, shall regulate in any manner gun shows, the possession, ownership, transport, carrying, transfer, sale, purchase, licensing, registration or use of firearms, ammunition, components of firearms, firearms dealers, or dealers in firearm components.

"(b)(1) Subsection (a) does not affect the authority a municipality has under law to regulate the discharge of firearms within the limits of the municipality or the authority a county has under law enacted prior to August 1, 2000, to regulate the discharge of firearms within the jurisdiction of the county.

"(2) Subsection (a) does not affect the authority of the state, a county, or a municipality to assess, enforce, and collect sales taxes, use taxes, and gross receipts taxes in the nature of sales taxes as defined by Section 40-2A-3(8), on the retail sale of firearms and ammunition or to assess, enforce, and collect business licenses from firearms or ammunition manufacturers, trade associations, distributors, or dealers for the privilege of engaging in business.

"Further, nothing herein shall exempt any business which uses firearms or ammunition in the conduct of its business or any business which leases or sells firearms or ammunition from the provisions of county and municipal planning and zoning laws, as long as the code, ordinance, or regulations are not used to circumvent the intent of subsection (a).

"This section shall not be construed to limit or restrict the power of a municipality to adopt or enforce ordinances which make the violation of a state firearm law a violation of a municipal ordinance to the same extent as other state law violations.

"(c) The authority to bring or settle any lawsuit in which the state has an exclusive interest or right to recover against any firearm or ammunition manufacturer, trade association, or dealer, and the authority to bring or settle any lawsuit on behalf of any governmental unit created by or pursuant to an act of the Legislature or the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, or any department, agency, or authority thereof, for damages, abatement, injunctive relief, or other equitable relief resulting from or relating to the design, manufacture, marketing, or lawful sale of firearms or ammunition, or both, shall be reserved exclusively to the Attorney General, by and with the consent of the Governor. This section shall not prohibit a county or municipal corporation from bringing an action against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer or dealer for breach of contract or warranty as to firearms or ammunition purchased by the political subdivision or local governmental authority."

Section 2. Sections 13A-11-7, 13A-11-73, 13A-11-75, and 13A-11-85, Code of Alabama 1975, are amended to read as follows:

§13A-11-7.

"(a) A person commits the crime of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he or she does any of the following:

"(1) Engages in fighting or in violent tumultuous or threatening behavior; or.

"(2) Makes unreasonable noise; or.

"(3) In a public place uses abusive or obscene language or makes an obscene gesture; or.

"(4) Without lawful authority, disturbs any lawful assembly or meeting of persons; or.

"(5) Obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic, or a transportation facility; or.

"(6) Congregates with other person in a public place and refuses to comply with a lawful order of the police to disperse.

"(b) Disorderly conduct is a Class C misdemeanor.

"(c) The mere carrying of a visible, holstered firearm in a public place, in and of itself, shall not be a violation of this section.

§13A-11-73.

No person shall carry a pistol in any vehicle or concealed on or about his or her person, except on his or her land, in his or her own abode or fixed place of business, or in or on a private motor vehicle or other private means of conveyance without a license therefor as hereinafter provided. The mere presence of a pistol in a vehicle does not create a presumption that the pistol is concealed.

§13A-11-75.

"(a)(1) The sheriff of a county, upon the application of any person residing in that county, may within 30 days from receipt of a complete application and accompanying fees, shall issue or renew a qualified or unlimited license to such for such person to carry a pistol in a vehicle or concealed on or about his or her person within this state for not more than one year one to five year increments, as requested by the person seeking the license, from date of issue, if it appears that the applicant has good reason to fear injury to his or her person or property or has any other proper reason for carrying a pistol, and that he or she is a suitable person to be so licensed. unless the sheriff determines, based upon documented, specific actions of the person, where at least one of the actions occurred within two years immediately preceding the date of the application, that the person is likely to use a weapon unlawfully or in such other manner that would endanger the person's self or others. The sheriff shall provide a written statement of the reasons for the denial, and the evidence upon which it is based must be disclosed to the applicant unless disclosure would interfere with a criminal investigation or the person is otherwise prohibited under the laws of this state or the United States from possessing or receiving a firearm.

"(2) The sheriff may revoke a license issued under subdivision (1) if he or she determines, based upon documented, specific actions of the person, where at least one of the actions occurred within two years immediately preceding the date of the application, that the person is likely to use a weapon unlawfully or in such other manner that would endanger the person's self or others. The sheriff shall provide a written statement of the reasons for the revocation, and the evidence upon which it is based must be disclosed to the applicant unless disclosure would interfere with a criminal investigation or the person is otherwise prohibited under the laws of this state or the United States from possessing or receiving a firearm.

"(3) A person who is denied a license under subdivision (1), or a person whose license is revoked under subdivision (2), within 30 days of notification of the denial or revocation, may file a written appeal of the denial or revocation to a concealed pistol permit review panel stating the grounds for which the permit was wrongfully denied or revoked. Upon a review of a denial under this subdivision, the sheriff shall have the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the person would be likely to use a weapon unlawfully or in such other manner as would endanger the person's self or others if granted a license to carry a concealed firearm under this section. The panel shall be comprised of the following members of the county in which the application was made:

"a. The probate judge.

"b. The district attorney.

"c. The president of the local bar association.

"(4) Within 30 days of receipt of the appeal, the panel shall review the written appeal and issue a final determination in writing providing the reasons for the determination.

"(5) If the panel issues a determination in favor of a person who was denied a permit, the person shall be issued a permit and shall not be required to pay the permit fees under subsection (b). If the panel issues a determination in favor of a person whose license was revoked, the person shall be reimbursed for the amount paid for the permit that was revoked.

"(b) The license shall be in triplicate, in form to be prescribed by the Secretary of State, and shall bear the name, address, description, and signature of the licensee and the reason given for desiring a license. The original thereof shall be delivered to the licensee, the duplicate shall, within seven days, be sent by registered or certified mail to the Director of Public Safety, and the triplicate shall be preserved for six years by the authority issuing the same. The fee for issuing such license shall be one dollar ($1) which sheriff may charge a fee as provided by local law for the issuance of the license. Notwithstanding any provision in a local law, the fee shall not exceed an aggregate amount of fifty dollars ($50) for a five-year period. The fee shall be paid into the county treasury unless otherwise provided by local law. Prior to issuance or renewal of a license, the sheriff shall contact available local, state, and federal criminal history data banks, including the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, to determine whether possession of a firearm by an applicant would be a violation of state or federal law. The sheriff may revoke a license upon proof that the licensee is not a proper person to be licensed.

"(c) If a person who is not a United States citizen applies for a license under this section, the sheriff shall conduct an Immigration Alien Query through the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or any successor agency, and the application form shall require information relating to the applicant's country of citizenship, place of birth, and any alien or admission number issued by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or any successor agency. The sheriff shall review the results of these inquiries before making a determination of whether to issue a license or renewal license. A person who is unlawfuly present in this state may not be issued a license to carry a pistol that is concealed.

"(b)(d) The name, address, and signature collected from an applicant or licensee under this section shall be kept confidential, shall be exempt from disclosure under Section 36-12-40, and may only be used for law enforcement purposes except when a current licensee is charged in any state with a felony involving the use of a pistol. All other information on licenses under this section, including information concerning the annual number of applicants, number of licenses issued, number of licenses denied, revenue from issuance of licenses, and any other fiscal or statistical data otherwise, shall remain public writings subject to public disclosure. Except as provided above, the sheriff of a county shall redact the name, address, signature, and photograph of an applicant before releasing a copy of a license for a non-law enforcement purpose. The sheriff may charge one dollar ($1) per copy of any redacted license record requested other than when requested for law enforcement purposes. To knowingly publish or release to the public in any form any information or records related to the licensing process, or the current validity of any license, except as authorized in this subsection or in response to a court order or subpoena, is a Class A misdemeanor.

"(e) A license issued under this section shall be valid for the carrying of a pistol concealed on the licensee’s person throughout the state, unless prohibited by this section.

"(f) This section shall not be construed to limit or place any conditions upon a person's right to carry a pistol that is not concealed.

§13A-11-85.

"(a) A person licensed to carry a handgun in any state whose laws recognize and give effect in that state to a license issued under the laws of the State of Alabama shall be authorized to carry a handgun in this state. This section shall apply to a licenseholder license holder from another state only while the licenseholder license holder is not a resident of this state. A licenseholder license holder from another state shall carry the handgun in compliance with the laws of this state.

"(b) The Attorney General is authorized to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states for the mutual recognition of licenses to carry handguns and shall periodically publish a list of states which meet the requirements of subsection (a) recognize licenses issued pursuant to Section 13A-11-75.

Section 3. (a) Except as provided in subsections (b), (c), and (d), a person may openly carry a pistol or carry a pistol concealed on or about his or her person on private or public property.

(b)(1) Except as provided in subdivision (2), a public or private employer may restrict or prohibit its employees, including those with a license issued or recognized under Section 13A-11-75, Code of Alabama 1975, from carrying firearms while on the employer's property or while engaged in the duties of the person's employment.

(2) A public or private employer may not restrict or prohibit the transportation or storage of a firearm in an employee’s privately-owned motor vehicle while parked or operated in a public or private parking area if the employee satisfies all of the following:

a. The vehicle is operated or parked in a location where it is otherwise permitted to be.

b. The firearm is either of the following:

1. In a motor vehicle attended by the employee, kept from ordinary observation with the person's vehicle.

2. In a motor vehicle unattended by the employee, kept from ordinary observation and locked within the trunk, glove box, or interior of the person’s privately owned motor vehicle or a container securely affixed to the vehicle.

(3) A public or private employer may not inquire whether an employee is transporting a firearm or has stored a firearm in his or her private motor vehicle.

(4) If an employer discovers by other means that an employee is transporting or storing a firearm in his or her private vehicle, the employer may not take any adverse employment action against the employee if the employee has complied with the requirements in subdivision (2).

(5) An employee is entitled to full recovery as specified in this subsection for any adverse employment action against the employee if the employee has complied with the requirements of subdivision (2). If demand for the recovery has not been satisfied within 45 calendar days, the employee may file a civil action in the appropriate court of this state against the public or private employer and is entitled to an award of all of the following:

a. Reinstatement to the same position held at the time of his or her termination from employment or demotion, or to an equivalent position.

b. Reinstatement of the employee's full fringe benefits and seniority rights, as appropriate.

c. Compensation, if applicable, for lost wages, benefits, or other lost remuneration caused by the termination, demotion, or other adverse action.

d. Payment of reasonable attorney's fees and legal costs incurred.

(c) A person who owns or controls private property, including property that is open to the public, may restrict or prohibit as trespassers those who possess or carry firearms or other deadly weapons, including those persons with a license issued or recognized under Section 13A-11-75, Code of Alabama 1975, while on the property provided that notice of the prohibition is prominently posted at any public entrance to the property. If a person disregards the notice and carries a pistol on the property, the person who owns or controls the property may verbally request that the person carrying the pistol leave the property. If the person continues to remain on the property after the verbal request, the person who owns or controls the property may contact a law enforcement agency to remove the person from the property as a trespasser under existing law.

(d)(1) A person, including a person with a license issued under Section 13A-11-75, Code of Alabama 1975, may not knowingly possess or carry a firearm or other deadly weapon in the following place without the express permission of a person or entity with authority over the premises:

a. Inside any building, facility, or venue to which access of unauthorized persons and prohibited articles is limited during normal hours of operation by the continuous posting of guards and the use of other security features, including but not limited to, magnetometers, key cards, biometric screening devices, or turnstiles or other physical barriers.

b. This subdivision shall not prohibit any person from possessing a firearm within the person's residence or during ingress or egress thereto.

(2) If the state, or a political subdivision thereof, adopts a policy as described in subdivision (1), the state or the political subdivision shall provide a means for a person, upon arrival to the property, to give possession of a pistol to a person designated by the state or political subdivision at a designated entrance to the property. The person designated by the state or political subdivision shall store the pistol in a secure and locked location during the course of the person's presence on the property.

(3)a. A person who is denied the opportunity to check and store a firearm in violation of subdivision (2) may file a civil action in the appropriate court to enjoin any state or political subdivision from violating subdivision (2).

b. In any action brought under this subdivision, court costs and attorney's fees shall be awarded to the prevailing plaintiff.

(4) Any person who violates subdivision (1) shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.

(e) Prohibitions regarding the carrying of a firearm or other deadly weapon under this section shall not apply to law enforcement officers engaged in the lawful execution of their official duties.

(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the carrying or possession of a firearm or other deadly weapon where prohibited by federal law.

(g) For the purposes of this section, the term "deadly weapon" shall have the same meaning as in Section 13A-11-72, Code of Alabama 1975.

Section 4. (a) For the purposes of this section, "business entity" means any person or group of persons performing or engaging in any activity, enterprise, profession, or occupation for gain, benefit, advantage, or livelihood, whether for profit or not for profit.

(b) A person or business entity has no duty to guard against the criminal acts of a third party, whether involving the third party's use of a firearm or otherwise, unless the person or business entity knows or has reason to know that the criminal acts are occurring or are about to occur on the premises that pose an imminent probability of harm to an invitee on the property.

Section 5. (a) For the purposes of this section, "motor vehicle" shall mean any automobile, truck, minivan, sports utility vehicle, motorcycle, motor scooter, or any other vehicle required to be registered under state law when operated on the highways of this state.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a business entity, or owner, manager, or legal possessor of real property may not establish, maintain, or enforce a policy or rule that prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting a person's transportation or storage of a firearm or ammunition when the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) The firearm or ammunition is either of the following:

a. Kept from ordinary observation within the person's attended privately owned motor vehicle.

b. Kept from ordinary observation and locked within the trunk, glove box, or interior of the person's privately owned motor vehicle or a container securely affixed to the vehicle.

(2) The vehicle is operated or parked in a location where it is otherwise permitted to be.

(c)(1) A person who is injured or incurs damages, or the survivors of a person killed, as a result of a violation of subsection (b) may file a civil action in the appropriate court against any business entity, or owner, manager, or legal possessor of real property who committed or caused the violation.

(2) A person who is denied the opportunity to transport or store a firearm or ammunition by a policy or rule prohibited in subsection (b) may file a civil action in the appropriate court to enjoin any business entity, or owner, manager, or legal possessor of real property from violating subsection (b).

(3) In any action brought under this subsection, court costs and attorney's fees shall be awarded to a prevailing plaintiff.

(d) This section shall not apply if any of the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) The person operating the motor vehicle is any of the following:

a. Prohibited from possessing, receiving, or transporting pistols or other firearms under Section 13A-11-72, Code of Alabama 1975, or 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) or (n) or by any court order.

b. In violation of Section 13A-11-50, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the concealed carrying of weapons.

c. In violation of Section 13A-11-54, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the prohibition of carrying a rifle or shotgun walking cane.

d. In violation of Section 13A-11-60, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the possession of prohibited ammunition.

e. In violation of Section 13A-11-63, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the position of NFA rifles or shotguns in violation of federal law.

f. In violation of Section 13A-11-64, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to possession of a firearm with an altered serial number or manufacturer's identification.

g. In violation of Section 13A-11-73, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the prohibition on the unlicensed carrying of a pistol in a vehicle or concealed about one's person.

(2) The motor vehicle is located in any place where firearms are expressly prohibited by federal law.

(3) The motor vehicle is owned by a business entity, property owner, or employer while it is being used by agents or employees of the business entity, property owner, or employer in the course of their employment.

Section 6. (a) The purpose of this section is to establish within the Legislature complete control over regulation and policy pertaining to firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories in order to ensure that such regulation and policy is applied uniformly throughout this state to each person subject to the state's jurisdiction and to ensure protection of the right to keep and bear arms recognized by the Constitutions of the State of Alabama and the United States. This section is to be liberally construed to accomplish its purpose.

(b) For the purposes of this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:

(1) AMMUNITION. Fixed cartridge ammunition, shotgun shells, the individual components of fixed cartridge ammunition and shotgun shells, projectiles for muzzle-loading firearms, and any propellant used in firearms or ammunition.

(2) EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZED BY A STATUTE OF THIS STATE. The authority of a political subdivision to regulate firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories that is granted by a duly enacted state law that specifically mentions firearms, a particular type of firearm, ammunition, or a particular type of ammunition.

(3) FIREARM ACCESSORY. A device specifically designed or adapted to enable the wearing or carrying about one's person, or the storage or mounting in or on a conveyance, of a firearm, or an attachment or device specifically designed or adapted to be inserted into or affixed onto a firearm to enable, alter, or improve the functioning or capabilities of the firearm.

(4) FIREARM. This term has the same meaning as in Section 13A-8-1(4), Code of Alabama 1975.

(5) PERSON ADVERSELY AFFECTED. Any of the following:

a. A resident of this state who may legally possess a firearm under the laws of this state and the United States and who either of the following:

1. Is subject to any manner of regulation alleged to be promulgated or enforced in violation of this section, whether or not specific enforcement action has been initiated or threatened against that person or another person.

2. Would be, if the person were present in the political subdivision in question, subject to any manner of regulation alleged to be promulgated or enforced in violation of this section, whether or not specific enforcement action has been initiated or threatened against that person or another person.

b. A person who otherwise has standing under the laws of this state to bring an action under subsection (f).

c. A membership organization the members of which include a person described in paragraphs a. or b. of this subdivision and that is dedicated in whole or in part to protecting the legal, civil, or constitutional rights of its membership.

(6) POLITICAL SUBDIVISION. A county, incorporated city, unincorporated city, public local entity, public-private partnership, and any other public entity of a county or city commonly considered to be a political subdivision of the state.

(7) PUBLIC OFFICIAL. Any person elected to public office, whether or not that person has taken office, by the vote of the people of a political subdivision or its instrumentalities, including governmental corporations, and any person appointed to a position at the municipal level of government or its instrumentalities, including governmental corporations.

(8) REASONABLE EXPENSES. The expenses involved in litigation, including, but not limited to, attorney fees, expert witness fees, court costs, and compensation for loss of income.

(c) Except as otherwise provided in this section or as otherwise authorized by law, the Legislature hereby occupies and preempts the entire field of regulation in this state touching in any way upon firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories to the complete exclusion of any order, ordinance, or rule promulgated or enforced by any political subdivision of this state.

(d) The authority of a political subdivision to regulate firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories shall not be inferred from its proprietary authority, home rule status, or any other inherent or general power.

(e) Any existing or future orders, ordinances, or rules promulgated or enforced contrary to the terms of this section are null and void.

(f)(1) A person adversely affected by any order, ordinance, or rule promulgated in violation of this section may file a petition with the Attorney General requesting that he or she bring an action in circuit court for declarative and injunctive relief. The petition must be signed under oath and under penalty of perjury and must include specific details regarding the alleged violations.

(2) If, after investigation of the enactment or adoption of the order, ordinance, or rule, the Attorney General determines that there is reasonable cause to proceed with an action, he or she shall provide the political subdivision or public official enacting or adopting the order, ordinance, or rule 30 days' notice of his or her intent to file an action. Upon the expiration of the 30-days' notice, the Attorney General may file the suit.

(3) If, after investigation of the enactment or adoption of the order, ordinance, or rule, the Attorney General determines that there is no reasonable cause to proceed with an action, he or she shall publicly state in writing the justification for the determination not to file suit.

(4) The Attorney General shall either bring an action or publicly state, within 90 days of receipt of the petition, in the written justification why a violation of the spirit of this section, specifically subsections (a) and (c), has not occurred.

(5) The court shall award reasonable expenses to a person adversely affected if an action under this subsection results in either:

a. A final determination in favor of the person adversely affected.

b. Rescission, repeal, or amendment of the challenged manner of regulation or enforcement after suit has been filed under this subsection but prior to a final determination by the court.

(g) This section shall not be construed to prevent any of the following:

(1) A duly organized law enforcement agency of a political subdivision from promulgating and enforcing rules pertaining to firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories that it issues to or that are used by the political subdivision's peace officers in the course of their official duties.

(2) An employer from regulating or prohibiting an employee's carrying or possession of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition during and in the course of the employee's official duties.

(3) A court or administrative law judge from hearing and resolving a case or controversy or issuing an opinion or order on a matter within its jurisdiction.

(4) The enactment or enforcement of a generally applicable zoning or business ordinance that includes firearms businesses along with other businesses, provided that an ordinance designed or enforced effectively to restrict or prohibit the sale, purchase, transfer, manufacture, or display of firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories that is otherwise lawful under the laws of this state is in conflict with this section and is void.

(5) A political subdivision from enacting and enforcing rules of operation and use for any firearm range owned or operated by the political subdivision.

(6) A political subdivision from sponsoring or conducting any firearm-related competition or educational or cultural program and from enacting and enforcing rules for participation in or attendance at such program, provided that nothing in this section authorizes or permits a political subdivision to offer remuneration for the surrender or transfer of a privately owned firearm to the political subdivision or another party as a method of reducing the number of privately owned firearms within the political subdivision.

(7) Any official of a political subdivision with appropriate authority and jurisdiction from enforcing any law enacted by the Legislature.

(8) A sheriff of a county from acting on an application for a license under Section 13A-11-75, Code of Alabama 1975.

(9) A political subdivision from leasing public property to another person or entity for a gun show or other firearm-related event on terms agreeable to both parties.

(10) The adoption or enforcement by a county or municipality of ordinances which make the violation of a state firearm law a violation of an ordinance, provided that the elements of the local ordinance may not differ from the state firearm law, nor may the local ordinance impose a higher penalty than what is imposed under the state firearm law.

(11) A municipality from regulating the discharge of firearms within the limits of the municipality or a county from exercising any authority it has under law enacted prior to August 1, 2000, to regulate the discharge of firearms within the jurisdiction of the county. The discharge of a firearm in defense of one's self or family or in defense of one's property may not be construed to be a violation of state law or any ordinance or rule of a political subdivision of this state.

(12) A county or a municipality from exercising any authority it has to assess, enforce, and collect generally applicable sales taxes, use taxes, and gross receipts taxes in the nature of sales taxes as defined by Section 40-2A-3(8), Code of Alabama 1975, on the retail sale of firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories along with other goods, provided that no such tax imposed by a county or municipality may apply at a higher rate to firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories than to other goods.

Section 7. Section 11-45-1.1, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the authority of a municipality to enact ordinances relating to handguns, is repealed. Section 13A-11-52, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the carry of a pistol on the property of another, is repealed. Section 13A-11-59, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the possession of firearms by persons participating in or attending demonstrations at public places, is repealed.

Section 8. Although this bill would have as its purpose or effect the requirement of a new or increased expenditure of local funds, the bill is excluded from further requirements and application under Amendment 621, now appearing as Section 111.05 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, because the bill defines a new crime or amends the definition of an existing crime.

Section 9. This act shall become effective on the first day of the third month following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.

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