As the presidential election looms, it is easy to get caught up in the significance of the decision our country is about to make. Despite all of the attention this election is getting, it is not the only one about which we should be concerned. In fact, there are several senate races we as gun owners need to watch closely, starting with one taking place in Alabama.

Running for re-election in Alabama is Republican Senator Richard Shelby. He was first elected to the Senate in 1986 and has since filled many roles. Of particular interest to the sporting community, however, is his stance on Second Amendment issues. Senator Shelby has made statements against President Obama’s gun control tactics both in terms of the everyman as well as the Section 1033 program, which passed surplus military equipment on to law enforcement agencies, including those in his home state, which was later taken away after a change in directive.

Senator Shelby’s fight to protect ownership of firearms for self-defense, recreational shooting, and hunting has earned him honors for his efforts as well as an A+ rating and unwavering support from the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund. Shelby has shown strong opposition to semiautomatic bans, universal background checks criminalizing private transfers, and Supreme Court nominees with anti-gun agendas. A co-sponsor of the Protection in Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, Senator Shelby has gone above and beyond to prevent frivolous lawsuits in the firearms industry. He has also voted to prohibit the confiscation of guns during a state of emergency, an issue that hit home in Alabama recently as Hurricane Hermine hit the state with a glancing blow.

“I believe that gun control legislation violates both the letter and the spirit of the United States Constitution,” said Senator Shelby on his website. “I do not believe that restrictive gun laws are the answer to curbing violent crime in America.”

Challenger Ron Crumpton (below), a Democrat, has his own opinions on gun issues. In short, he is a supporter of Second Amendment rights, but does not believe in blanket access to guns, such as in the case of criminals or terrorists. Crumpton also believes in maintaining a legal market for firearms through a government that does not institute legislation or executive orders that will compromise private, legal gun ownership. He also claims opposition to an “assault weapons” ban.

Ron Crumpton Facebook 2

When it comes to background checks and private party gun sales, however, Crumpton supports a new approach. He is all for closing “loopholes” via expanded background checks that will prevent guns from falling into the hands of individuals with terroristic intent, such as the San Bernardino attack. Crumpton also wishes to regulate the way firearms change hands at gun shows, believing those transactions should be conducted much the same way as sales by retailer.

“I believe in the Second Amendment, but that does not mean we should have unabridged access to guns,” Crumpton declared on his website.

Despite a push for a debate between the two, Senator Shelby has yet to commit. This fall the polls will reveal whether the experienced Senator will retain his seat for a sixth term, or the new face of Ron Crumpton will be introducing big changes in Alabama.

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