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Alabama bill would allow minors to handle firearms

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A bill passing through the Alabama state legislature would allow minors to handle firearms with proper supervision.

"This bill would allow a person under the age 23 of 18 to receive or possess a pistol if he or she 24 has the consent of a parent, guardian, or spouse 25 who is 18 years of age or older and satisfies 26 additional criteria," according to the language of SB262.

It would also allow a minor to possess a firearm if he or she is on the premises of a parent or guardian; if they are in the presence of a licensed safety instructor; or using it for hunting, trapping or training.

Supporters of the bill say it gives more freedom to minors who use firearms for hunting or sport shooting.

"Under the law today, if a 16-year-old is out shooting, they are breaking the law because they are in possession of a pistol" state senator, Arthur Orr told CBS News Birmingham, Ala., affiliate WIAT.

But there is a mixture of opinions on the bill.

"I don't think there should be any laws on who can carry a firearm in their personal residence" gun owner Daniel Guest said.

But Carolyn Johnson, who lost her child to gun violence, differed strongly.

"People should have guns and we have a right to bear arms, especially for the safety of our homes, but kids, not we can't do that" says Johnson.

The bill would also eliminate many requirements for firearms dealers to keep detailed records of the guns they sell.

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