Transporting Firearms in Alabama
The laws governing the legal use, storage and carrying of firearms are constantly changing. Below are the applicable laws in the State of Alabama as of 3/15/2013. The below information is designed to be a guide and not the final word. If you have specific questions, please refer to the State of Alabama legislation at ago.alabama.gov. Another great resource is the Colorado Attorney General Office ago.state.al.us.
Alabama law prohibits any person from carrying a pistol in any vehicle or concealed on or about their person without a pistol permit license. Ala. Code § 13A-11-73 (1975). Under Alabama law, a "pistol" is defined as "any firearm with a barrel less than 12 inches in length." Licenses to carry a pistol are issued by local county sheriffs in Alabama. A person must be a resident of that county to apply for and be issued a pistol permit license. Alabama as of August 1, 2001 under Act 2001-494 has provisions for recognizing pistol permits or concealed weapon licenses issued by states who will recognize pistol permits issued by Alabama.
The license requirement of section 13A-11-73 does not apply to "regularly employed" law enforcement officers; to members of the armed forces or National Guard while on duty or going to or from duty; to persons engaged in manufacturing, repairing, or dealing in pistols; or to any person permitted by law to possess a pistol while carrying it unloaded in a secure wrapper, from the place of purchase to his home or place of business, or to or from a place of repair or in moving from one place of abode or business to another. Ala. Code § 13A-11-74 (1975).
It is our interpretation of the Code of Alabama that "regularly employed" law enforcement means full time, sworn law enforcement officers. Such persons are exempt from the requirement to possess a permit and may carry their pistols concealed or unconcealed.
The State of Alabama does recognize pistol licenses or permits to carry concealed weapons issued by other states who will recognize Alabama pistol licenses. [See the list posted above.] Also, a person may carry or transport a long gun (rifle or shotgun) without a permit. A person may lawfully transport a firearm, including a handgun, from one state in which they are legal to possess to another state without a permit as required under Alabama law, provided the following conditions are met:
The firearm is unloaded.
Neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle.
In case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver's compartment, the firearm and ammunition shall be in a locked container other than the glove box or console.
18 USC § 926 (a) (2006).
Under Alabama law, no person convicted in this state or elsewhere of a "crime of violence" may own or possess a pistol. Ala. Code § 13A-11-72 (1975). Crimes of violence are defined as murder, manslaughter, rape, assault, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, and larceny. No person addicted to drugs or habitually intoxicated may own or possess a pistol. Ala. Code § 13A-11-72 (1975). Any person in violation of Alabama's pistol laws may be arrested and upon conviction, subjected to a term of imprisonment of not more than one year and a fine of not more than $500, or both. The pistol will be seized and may be forfeited by court order.