Alabama House unanimously passes bill making possession of stolen gun a Class C felony
MONTGOMERY – The Alabama House of Representatives on Tuesday unanimously passed HB 375, which would make possessing a stolen gun a Class C felony.
Rep. Matt Simpson (R-Daphne), the bill’s sponsor, released a statement saying he was pleased with the vote.
“This bill passed with bipartisan support because keeping our streets and our communities safer is not a partisan issue,” Simpson said. “I’m appreciative for the support and help of my colleagues in the House and in our law enforcement community for helping to push this bill forward.”
Under current law, possessing a stolen gun is only elevated to a felony charge if the value of the stolen weapon is $1,500 or more. HB 375 changes the statute to include language that says felony charges will be brought for “receiving stolen property that is a firearm, rifle or shotgun, regardless of its value.”
In Alabama, a Class C felony is punishable by no less than one year and one day to no more than ten years in prison.
Simpson, a former assistant district attorney for Mobile and Baldwin counties, said he hopes the Senate will pass the bill quickly.
“Already this year, we’ve had two law enforcement officers that have been killed by people using stolen guns, including Officer Sean Tuder in Mobile,” Simpson explained. “The men and women of our law enforcement community are out there risking their lives to protect us each and every day, and this bill allows for additional penalties and consequences for those who might be trying to harm them.”
Simpson also thanked Mobile Public Safety Director James Barber and the chiefs of Alabama’s five largest cities for coming to Montgomery to help advocate for passage of the bill.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn