Alabama Gun Laws
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.
Section 13A-11-73: License to carry pistol in a vehicle or concealed on person Required.
No person shall carry a pistol in any vehicle or concealed on or about his person, except on his land, in his own abode or fixed place of business, without a license therefor as hereinafter provided. Alabama's Firearms and Weapons Law
Section 13A-11-74: License to carry pistol in a vehicle or concealed on person Exceptions.
The provisions of Section 13A-11-73 shall not apply to marshals, sheriffs, prison and jail wardens and their regularly employed deputies, policemen and other law enforcement officers of any state or political subdivision thereof, or to the members of the army, navy or marine corps of the United States or of the national guard, or to the members of the national guard organized reserves or state guard organizations when on duty or going to or from duty, or to the regularly enrolled members of any organization duly authorized to purchase or receive such weapons from the United States or from this state; provided, that such members are at or are going to or from their places of assembly or target practices, or to officers or employees of the United States duly authorized to carry a pistol, or to any person engaged in manufacturing, repairing or dealing in pistols, or the agent or representative of such person possessing, using, or carrying a pistol in the usual or ordinary course of such business, or to any
common carrier, except taxicabs, licensed as a common carrier, 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.
Section 13A-11-75: License to carry pistol in a vehicle or concealed on person Issuance; fee; revocation; release of information.
(a) The sheriff of a county, upon the application of any person residing in that county, may issue a qualified or unlimited license to such person to carry a pistol in a vehicle or concealed on or about his or her person within this state for not more than one year from date of issue, if it appears that the applicant has good reason to fear injury to his or her person or property or has any other proper reason for carrying a pistol, and that he or she is a suitable person to be so licensed. The license shall be in triplicate, in form to be prescribed by the Secretary of State, and shall bear the name, address, description, and signature of the licensee and the reason given for desiring a license. The original thereof shall be delivered to the licensee, the duplicate shall, within seven days, be sent by registered or certified mail to the Director of Public Safety, and the triplicate shall be preserved for six years by the authority issuing the same. The fee for issuing such license shall be one dollar ($1)
which shall be paid into the county treasury unless otherwise provided by local law. Prior to issuance of a license, the sheriff shall contact available local, state, and federal criminal history data banks to determine whether possession of a firearm by an applicant would be a violation of state or federal law. The sheriff may revoke a license upon proof that the licensee is not a proper person to be licensed. Alabama's Firearms and Weapons Law
(b) The name, address, and signature collected from an applicant or licensee under this section shall be kept confidential, shall be exempt from disclosure under Section 36-12-40, and may only be used for law enforcement purposes except when a current licensee is charged in any state with a felony involving the use of a pistol. All other information on licenses under this section, including information concerning the annual number of applicants, number of licenses issued, number of licenses denied, revenue from issuance of licenses, and any other fiscal or statistical data otherwise, shall remain public writings subject to public disclosure. Except as provided above, the sheriff of a county shall redact the name, address, signature, and photograph of an applicant before releasing a copy of a license for a non-law enforcement purpose. The sheriff may charge one dollar ($1) per copy of any redacted license record requested other than when requested for law enforcement purposes. To knowingly publish or release
to the public in any form any information or records related to the licensing process, or the current validity of any license, except as authorized in this subsection or in response to a court order or subpoena, is a Class A misdemeanor.
Section 13A-11-50: Carrying concealedweapons.
Except as otherwise provided in this Code, a person who carries concealed about his person a bowie knife or knife or instrument of like kind or description or a pistol or firearm of any other kind or an air gun shall, on conviction, be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $500.00, and may also be imprisoned in the county jail or sentenced to hard labor for the county for not more than six months.
Section 13A-11-81: False information in applications for licenses, purchases, etc.
No person shall, in purchasing or otherwise securing delivery of a pistol or in applying for a license to carry the same, give false information or offer false evidence of his identity.
Section 13A-11-72:Certain persons forbidden to possess pistol.
(a) No person who has been convicted in this state or elsewhere of committing or attempting to commit a crime of violence shall own a pistol or have one in his or her possession or under his or her control.
(b) No person who is a drug addict or an habitual drunkard shall own a pistol or have one in his or her possession or under his or her control.
(c) Subject to the exceptions provided by Section 13A-11-74, no person shall knowingly with intent to do bodily harm carry or possess a deadly weapon on the premises of a public school.
(d) Possession of a deadly weapon with the intent to do bodily harm on the premises of a public school in violation of subsection (c) of this section is a Class C felony.
(e) Law enforcement officers are exempt from this section, and persons with pistol permits issued pursuant to Section 13A-11-75, are exempt from the provisions of subsection (c) of this section.
(f) The term "public school" as used in this section applies only to a school composed of grades K-12 and shall include a school bus used for grades K-12.
(g) The term "deadly weapon" as used in this section means a firearm or anything manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purposes of inflicting death or serious physical injury, and such term includes, but is not limited to, a bazooka, hand grenade, missile, or explosive or incendiary device; a pistol, rifle, or shotgun; or a switch-blade knife, gravity knife, stiletto, sword, or dagger; or any club, baton, billy, black-jack, bludgeon, or metal knuckles.
Section 13A-11-59: Possession of firearms by persons participating in, attending, etc., demonstrations at public places.
(a) For the purposes of this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this subsection, except in those instances where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(1) DEMONSTRATION. Demonstrating, picketing, speechmaking or marching, holding of vigils and all other like forms of conduct which involve the communication or expression of views or grievances engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which has the effect, intent or propensity to draw a crowd or onlookers. Such term shall not include casual use of property by visitors or tourists which does not have an intent or propensity to attract a crowd or onlookers.
(2) FIREARM. Any pistol, rifle, shotgun or firearm of any kind, whether loaded or not.
(3) LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. Any duly appointed and acting federal, state, county or municipal law enforcement officer, peace officer or investigating officer, or any military or militia personnel called out or directed by constituted authority to keep the law and order, and any park ranger while acting as such on the grounds of a public park and who is on regular duty and present to actively police and control the demonstration, and who is assigned this duty by his department or agency. Such term does not include a peace officer on strike or a peace officer not on duty.
(4) PUBLIC PLACE. Any place to which the general public has access and a right to resort for business, entertainment or other lawful purpose, but does not necessarily mean a place devoted solely to the uses of the public. Such term shall include the front or immediate area or parking lot of any store, shop, restaurant, tavern, shopping center or other place of business. Such term shall also include any public building, the grounds of any public building, or within the curtilage of any public building, or in any public parking lot, public street, right-of-way, sidewalk right-ofway, or within any public park or other public grounds.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person, other than a law enforcement officer, to have in his or her possession or on his or her person or in any vehicle any firearm while participating in or attending any demonstration being held at a public place.
(c) It shall be unlawful for any person, other than a law enforcement officer as defined in subsection (a) of this section, to have in his or her possession or about his or her person or in any vehicle at a point within 1,000 feet of a demonstration at a public place, any firearm after having
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.
This law allows Alabama concealed weapon permit holders to take their weapons into states that recognize Alabama licenses. It also allows residents of other states to bring their weapons into Alabama as long as the state issuing the license recognizes Alabama gun licensing laws.
§ 13A-11-85. Reciprocity for licenses issued in other states.
(a) A person licensed to carry a handgun in any state whose laws recognize and give effect in that state to a license issued under the laws of the State of Alabama shall be authorized to carry a handgun in this state. This section shall apply to a license holder from another state only while the license holder is not a resident of this state. A license holder from another state shall carry the handgun in compliance with the laws of this state.
(b) The Attorney General shall periodically publish a list of states which meet the requirements of subsection (a). (Act 2001-494, p. 862, § 1.)
NOTE: Regarding Non-Resident license/permit
At the present time, Act 2001-494 does not specifically address the issue of Alabama's recognition of a non-resident handgun license issued by a state with which Alabama has reciprocal recognition of concealed handgun licenses. Nor is there a formal Attorney General's Opinion, or Alabama case law on this subject. If an Alabama law enforcement agency requests and receives an official Attorney General's Opinion that opinion will be available to the public on our web site in the Opinions section.
Alabama honors all permits from the states listed below:
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wyoming
An Alabama Permit is honored in all states listed below:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wyoming
Until the Legislature, or a court of competent jurisdiction, or an "official" Attorney General's Opinion addresses this question, our office's "unofficial opinion" is that, at this time, Alabama will honor non-resident concealed handgun licenses from a state which recognizes handgun licenses issued to Alabama residents. Since this is a new area of law and subject to change, we do urge caution.
Alabama issues concealed handgun licenses only to residents of Alabama, through the sheriff of their county of residence.