Alabama voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly favored a revision to the state constitution which will provide greater legal protections for the right to keep and bear arms. By a vote of 73 percent to 27 percent, voters amended the state constitution to include the following provision:
(a) 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.
Strict scrutiny is the most exacting level of judicial review employed by the courts. For a gun control law to survive strict scrutiny, the state must prove that it has a compelling interest that both justifies and necessitates the regulation in question. Among lawyers, strict scrutiny is frequently characterized as "strict in theory, fatal in fact." Lawmakers receive no deference from the courts under this approach.
Put differently, this new constitutional provision is a huge win for gun rights and a major defeat for gun control advocates in Alabama.