Alabama Right to Bear Arms, Amendment 3 (2014)

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Amendment 3
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Alabama Constitution
Referred by:Alabama State Legislature
Topic:Firearms
Status:On the ballot
2014 measures
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July 15
Amendment 1 Approveda
November 4
Amendment 1
Amendment 2
Amendment 3
Amendment 4
Amendment 5
EndorsementsFull text
Polls
The Alabama Right to Bear Arms, Amendment 3 is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Alabama as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment.

If approved by voters, the constitution would be amended to explicitly "provide that every citizen has a fundamental right to bear arms and that any restriction on this right would be subject to strict scrutiny." Additionally, it would "provide that no international treaty or law shall prohibit, limit or otherwise interfere with a citizen's fundamental right to bear arms."[1] The measure was known in the Alabama Legislature as House Bill 8.[2]

Text of measure

Ballot title

The official ballot title of this measure appears as follows:[3]

Statewide Amendment 3

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to provide that every citizen has a fundamental right to bear arms and that any restriction on this right would be subject to strict scrutiny; and to provide that no international treaty or law shall prohibit, limit, or otherwise interfere with a citizen's fundamental right to bear arms. (Proposed by Act 2013-267)

Yes ( )
No ( )
[4]

Ballot summary

The full ballot summary reads as follows:[5]

Amendment 3 provides that every citizen has the fundamental right under the State Constitution to bear arms in defense of himself or herself and the State. Amendment 3 also provides that this right would be entitled to the highest protection of the law.

Amendment 3 also protects a citizen from being compelled by any treaties or laws of another country to take an action which would prohibit, limit, or otherwise interfere with his or her right to bear arms if that treaty or law would violate the United States Constitution.

If Amendment 3 IS PASSED, the right to bear arms will be elevated under the State Constitution to a fundamental right and given the highest possible protection. This right will also be provided with additional protection from potential interference by international treaty or foreign law.

If Amendment 3 IS DEFEATED, the right to bear arms in Alabama will still exist in the State Constitution, but will not be declared as a fundamental right and may not be subject to the highest possible protection. The right to bear arms will also not be protected from potential interference by international laws and treaties.

No source of funding is required for this law.

The measure will have no impact on taxes.

The Constitutional authority for passage of this Amendment is set forth in Sections 284, 285, and 287 of the State Constitution. These sections outline the way a constitutional amendment may be put to the people of the State for a vote. [4]

Constitutional changes

Alabama Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIII
Amendments

If approved by voters, Amendment 3 would amend Article I, Section 26 of the Alabama Constitution to read as follows, with the underlined text added and the stricken text eliminated:[2]

"(a) That every Every citizen has a fundamental right to bear arms in defense of himself or herself and the state. Any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.

(b) No citizen shall be compelled by any international treaty or international law to take an action that prohibits, limits, or otherwise interferes with his or her fundamental right to keep and bear arms in defense of himself or herself and the state, if such treaty or law, or its adoption, violates the United States Constitution."[4]

Support

Supporters

  • National Rifle Association (NRA)[6]

Arguments

Chris W. Cox, chairman of the NRA-PVF, spoke in support of Amendment 3, saying,[6]

Amendment 3 would strengthen the current Alabama right to keep and bear arms amendment by ensuring the highest level of constitutional protection,” said Chris W. Cox, chairman of the NRA-PVF. “Amendment 5 would protect Alabama's hunting traditions from well-funded extremist groups that seek to ban hunting. These amendments are critical to protect the constitutional freedoms of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen in Alabama. On behalf of the NRA’s five million members, the NRA-PVF is proud to endorse Statewide Ballot Amendments 3 and 5," concluded Cox. “I urge all Alabama NRA members, gun owners and sportsmen to vote ‘Yes’ on Amendments 3 and 5 on November 4.[4]

—Chris W. Cox, [6]

HB 8 "Yes" votes

The following Alabama legislators voted in favor of putting Amendment 3 on the ballot:[7][8]

Note: A yes vote on HB 8 merely referred the question to voters and did not necessarily mean these legislators approved of the stipulations laid out in Amendment 3.

Senate

House

Opposition

Arguments

In a column for the Montgomery Examiner, Jason Baker wrote,[9]

Alabama gun owners and constitutionalists should warily consider the possible implications of a yes vote on Amendment 3 this November. Alabamians should demand that the Legislature reaffirm the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It should be placed above the scrutiny of any man. Amendment 3 could be a bad thing for Alabama.[4]

—Jason Baker, Montgomery Examiner

HB 8 "No" votes

The following state legislators voted against placing HB 8 on the ballot:[7][8]

Note: A no vote on HB 8 meant that a legislator did not want to refer the question to voters and did not necessarily mean these legislators disapproved of the stipulations laid out in Amendment 3.

Senate

House

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the Alabama Constitution

According to Article 18 of the Alabama Constitution, both houses of the Alabama State Legislature were required to pass the bill by a three-fifths or 60 percent vote, in order to send it to the statewide election ballot. If the amendment is approved by a simple majority of the electorate, it will become part of the constitution.[10]

On April 30, 2013, the Alabama House approved HB 8 by a vote of 76 to 22. The Senate followed suit on May 20, 2013, passing the bill by a vote of 25 to 4.[10]

House vote

April 30, 2013 House vote

Alabama HB 8 House vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 76 77.55%
No2222.45%

Senate vote

May 20, 2013 Senate vote

Alabama SB HB 8 Senate vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 25 86.21%
No413.79%

See also

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Suggest a link

External links

References