Bill would allow Alabamians to block themselves from buying guns

Proposed legislation would allow Alabama citizens to block themselves from buying guns from licensed dealers by voluntarily adding their names to a do-not-sell list. The legislation carries a $5,000 civil penalty for anyone who knowingly sells or transfers a firearm to any individual on the Voluntary Alabama Do Not Sell List.

On a 5-3 vote Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB376 by Sen. Trip Pittman, R-Daphne.  It next goes to the Alabama Senate, but with the Legislature possibly leaving town soon, its likelihood of passing in this session is slim.

Pittman got the idea for the bill from Dr. Fred Vars, a University of Alabama School of Law professor and an expert on suicides committed with firearms. Vars and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Psychiatry conducted a study of people seeking psychiatric care and found 46 percent would be willing to restrict their future gun purchases to protect themselves and others.

The Legislature in the state of Washington has passed similar legislation that awaits action by the governor there.

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