Alabama

Updated as of Monday, June 09, 2014.

STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION

"That every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state."

Article 1, Section 26

Important/Relevant Gun Laws

RIFLES AND SHOTGUNSHANDGUNS
Permit to PurchaseNoNo
Registration of FirearmsNoNo
Licensing of OwnersNoNo
Permit to CarryNoYes

The list and map below are included as a tool to assist you in validating your information.  We have made every effort to report the information correctly, however reciprocity and recognition agreements are subject to frequent change.  The information is not intended as legal advice or a restatement of law and does not include:  restrictions that may be placed on non-resident permits, individuals under the age of 21, qualifying permit classes, and/or any other factor which may limit reciprocity and/or recognition.  For any particular situation, a licensed local attorney must be consulted for an accurate interpretation.  YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL.

Reciprocity

  • These states recognize Alabama permits:
  • Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wyoming
  • Alabama recognizes permits from:
  • Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Map of states recognizing Alabama permits:

A synopsis of Alabama state laws on purchase, possession and carrying of firearms.

PURCHASE

It is unlawful to sell, give, lend or deliver a handgun to any person under 18, or to a person whom the seller has reasonable cause to believe has been convicted of a crime of violence, is a drug addict, a habitual drunkard, or of unsound mind. READ ALL

Any resident of Alabama authorized to sell and deliver rifles, shotguns and ammunition may sell and deliver them to a resident of any state where the sale of the firearm or ammunition is legal. Any purchaser of such firearm or ammunition may take or send it out of the state or have it delivered to his place of residence. Any resident of Alabama who legally purchases rifles, shotguns and ammunition in any state may take delivery of said weapons either in the state where they were purchased or in Alabama.

HIDE
POSSESSION

No state permit is required to possess a rifle, shotgun, or handgun. It is unlawful for a drug addict, habitual drunkard, or one who has been convicted of a "crime of violence" to own or possess a handgun. Law enforcement authorities have advised that minors cannot carry or possess a handgun. READ ALL

It is unlawful for any person to have in his possession, or on his person, or in any vehicle any firearm while attending or participating in any demonstration being held at a public place, or within 1,000 feet of a demonstration after being warned by a police officer. "

A public or private employer may not restrict or ban the transportation or storage of a lawfully possessed firearm or ammunition in an employee's own vehicle, while parked on that employer's parking lot, if the employee has a valid concealed weapon permit, or: the weapon is one legally used for hunting, other than a pistol; the employee has a valid Alabama hunting license, it occurs during hunting season, the weapon is unloaded, the employee has no documented workplace incidents involving physical injury, is not subject to a domestic violence order, has no convictions for a crime of violence, and does not meet any of the mental health disqualifications for a concealed weapon permit. The motor vehicle must be operated or parked in a location where it is otherwise permitted to be, and the firearm must be either (a) in a motor vehicle attended by the employee, kept from ordinary observation within the vehicle, or (b) in an unattended motor vehicle, kept from ordinary observation and locked within a compartment, container, or in the interior or in a compartment or container securely affixed to the motor vehicle.

A short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun may be possessed, transported or transferred if done so in compliance with federal law.  Machine guns, destructive devices, silencers, or suppressors as they are correctly termed, can be purchased, possessed and transferred, if done so in compliance with federal law.  It is very important to locate a reputable N.F.A. licensed dealer when considering the purchase of such items.

HIDE
CARRYING

With some exceptions, the open carry of firearms is lawful. It is unlawful to carry a concealed pistol, firearm, or airgun without a permit. It is unlawful for a person to carry a pistol concealed about his person on premises not his own or under his control. It is unlawful to carry a rifle or shotgun walking cane.  READ ALL

No person shall carry a pistol in any vehicle, or concealed on or about his person, except on his land, or in his own home or fixed place of business, without a permit.  However, a person legally permitted to possess a pistol but who does not possess a valid concealed weapon permit, may possess an unloaded pistol in his or her motor vehicle if the pistol is locked in a compartment or container that is in or affixed securely to the vehicle and out of reach of the driver and any passenger in the vehicle.

Other exemptions from this prohibition on carrying are law enforcement officers; members of the armed forces or 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, if such members are at or are going to or from their places of assembly or target practices; 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; common carriers (except taxis); and persons carrying unloaded handguns in a secure wrapper from a place of purchase to one's home or business, or to or from a place of repair, or in moving from one home or business to another.

On and after August 1, 2013, the sheriff of a county, within 30 days from receipt of a complete application of any person residing in that county, shall issue or renew a permit for a person to carry a handgun in a vehicle or concealed on or about one's person, for a period of one to five years, as requested by the applicant, if the applicant:

  •  is at least 18 years of age.
  •  has never been found guilty but mentally ill in a criminal case. 
  •  has never been found guilty in a criminal case by reason of insanity or mental disease, or found not guilty only by reason of a lack of mental responsibility under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
  •  has never been declared incompetent to stand trial in a criminal case.
  •  has never asserted a defense in a criminal case of not guilty by reason of insanity, or mental disease or defect.
  •  has never required involuntary inpatient treatment at a psychiatric hospital or a "similar treatment facility."
  •  has never required involuntary outpatient treatment in a psychiatric hospital or a "similar treatment facility" because of a finding that the applicant was a danger to self or others. 
  •  has never required involuntary commitment to a psychiatric hospital or a "similar treatment facility" for any reason, including drug use.
  •  has not been subject to a prosecution or an incompetency proceeding that could lead to a loss of firearm rights under state or federal law.
  •  has not falsified any portion of the application.
  •  has never caused "justifiable concern for public safety."

The fee for a permit varies depending on the county.

The sheriff shall issue or renew the permit unless he or she determines that the person is prohibited from the possession of a pistol or firearm pursuant to state or federal law, or has a reasonable suspicion that the person may use a weapon unlawfully or in such other manner that would endanger the person's self or others, based on the above factors. A sheriff shall take into account how recent any disqualifying factor is in relation to the date of application.  

If the application is denied, the sheriff is required to provide the applicant with a written statement of the reasons for a denial, and the evidence upon which it is based must be disclosed to the applicant unless to do so would interfere with a criminal investigation. The sheriff may revoke a permit for any reason that could lead to the denial of a permit. The sheriff shall provide a written statement with the reasons for revoking a permit and the evidence upon which it is based must be disclosed to the permit-holder unless to do so would interfere with a criminal investigation. 

Any applicant receiving a denial or revocation may file an appeal within 30 days of notification of the denial or revocation in the district court of the county where the denial or revocation occurred. A sheriff shall have the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the applicant is prohibited from having a permit.

A permit to conceal carry firearms does not authorize any person to carry a concealed firearm into, but not limited to, the following places:

  • inside any police, sheriff or highway patrol buildings.
  • prison, jail, halfway house, community corrections facility or other detention facilities.
  • any facility that provides inpatient or custodial care for those with psychiatric, mental or emotional disorders.
  • inside a courthouse, courthouse annex, or a building in which a District Attorney's office is located.
  • a building in which a county commission or city council is holding a regular or special meeting.
  • any building or facility to which access of unauthorized persons and prohibited articles is limited during normal hours of operation by the continuous posting of guards and the use of other security features, including, but not limited to, magnetometers, key cards, biometric screening devices, or turnstiles or other physical barriers, and where the public entrances of such premises or buildings have been posted with notices alerting those entering that firearms are prohibited.
  • any location prohibited by federal law.

The police, sheriff, or highway patrol station building; courthouse, courthouse annex, a building in which a District Attorney's office is located, or a building in which a county commission or city council is meeting; and the posted secured location bans are subject to an exception in which a firearm may be kept in the person’s private vehicle if the firearm is kept from ordinary observation and locked within a compartment or in the interior of the person's motor vehicle or in a compartment or container securely affixed to the motor vehicle.

Locations where concealed carry is prohibited must post a notice at the public entrances alerting those entering that possession of firearms are prohibited.  

Specified school security personnel and school resource officers employed by a local board of education, and authorized by the employing local board of education to carry a deadly weapon while on duty; law enforcement officers; and persons with pistol permits are exempt from a prohibition on carrying and possessing deadly weapons on the premises of a public school (“no person shall knowingly with intent to do bodily harm carry or possess a deadly weapon on the premises of a public school”). A "public school" means a school composed of grades K-12 and includes a school bus used for grades K-12.

Pistol permit records are confidential and are only to be used for law enforcement purposes.  A permit issued shall be valid for the carrying of a pistol in a vehicle or concealed on the person throughout the state. If a permit-holder establishes residence in another state, the pistol permit expires upon the establishment of residence in the other state.

A person who is licensed to carry a handgun in any state shall be authorized to carry a handgun in Alabama. Such a person shall carry the handgun in compliance with the laws of Alabama.  The Attorney General is authorized to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states for the mutual recognition of licenses to carry handguns and shall periodically publish a list of which recognize Alabama permits. 

HIDE
ANTIQUES & REPLICAS

Handguns possessed as curiosities or ornaments are exempt from the provisions on purchase, possession, or sale. Such handguns may be transported unloaded and in a bag, box, or securely wrapped package, but not concealed on the person. The same provisions apply to handguns, rifles, or shotguns made in or before 1898, or to blackpowder replicas not made to fire fixed ammunition.

Range Protection

Shooting ranges are protected by the standards of law, ordinance or regulation in effect at the time the range went into operation if it was in existence before 1990.  READ ALL

Alabama State Code § 6-5-341

Liability for operation or use of sport shooting range.

(a) As used in this section, the following words have the following meanings:

     (1) Government Body- The state of Alabama or any county or municipal governing body, agency, board, commission, committee, counsel, department, district, or any other public body corporate and politic created by constitution, statute, ordinance, rule, or order.

     (2) Property-  Real property, buildings, structures, and improvements thereon.

     (3) Sport Shooting Range-  An area designed and used for rifle shooting, pistol shooting, trap shooting, skeet shooting, or other target shooting and other related training or practice for the purpose of sharpshooting or improving in the use of firearms. 

(b)(1) This section applies to all private or public civil, injunctive, and nuisance actions.

     (2)Not withstanding any other provision of law, any person, firm, or entity who operates or uses a sports shooting range in this state shall not be subject to civil liability or criminal prosectution in any matter relating to noise or noise pollution resulting from the operation or use of the range if the range is being operated between the hours of 9:00a.m. to 9:00p.m. and if the range has been in existence prior to 1990 or is in compliance with any noise or lead control laws or ordinances that applied to the sport shooting range and its operation on August 1,  2001, or at the time the sport shooting range came into existence, whichever came first.

     (3)Any person, firm, or entity who operates or uses a sports shooting rangeis not subject to an action of nuisance and is not subject to an injunction to stop the use or operation of the shooting range on the basis of noise or noise pollution or lead or lead pollution if the range is being operated between the hours of 9:00a.m. through 9:00p.m. and if the range is in compliance with any noise or lead control laws or ordinances that applied to the sport shooting range and its operation on August 1, 2001, or at the time the sport shooting range came into existence, whichever came first.

     (4)Except as expressly provided herein, nothing in this section or the common law doctrine of attractive nuisance shall create any duty of care or grounds for liability toward any person using the property of another for a sport shooting range.

(c) No public street or alley should be open through a tract of property used or occupied as a sporting range, unless the necessity of the street or alley is first established by verdict of a jury upon showing extreme need or impossiblity of redirecting or rerouting a street or alley to accommodate the sports shooting range.

(d) Rules or regulations adopted by any government body limiting levels of noise in terms of decibel level which may occur in the atmosphere shall not apply to a sports shooting range exempted from liability under this section.

(e)Rules or regualtions adopted by any government body limiting levels of lead occurring in the atmosphere shall not apply to a sports shooting range exempted from liablity under this section.

HIDE
Preemption

The entire matter of firearms and ammunition is reserved to the state legislature. READ ALL

Unless expressly authorized by a statute of this state, the Legislature hereby occupies and preempts the entire field of regulation in this state touching in any way upon firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories to the complete exclusion of any order, ordinance, or rule promulgated or enforced by any political subdivision of this state.

The authority of a political subdivision to regulate firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories shall not be inferred from its proprietary authority, home rule status, or any other inherent or general power.

Any existing orders, ordinances, or rules promulgated or enforced contrary to the terms of this section are null and void and any future order, ordinance, or rules shall comply with this law.

HIDE
MISCELLANEOUS

With some very limited exceptions, the state legislature preempts the entire field of regulation touching in any way upon firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories to the complete exclusion of any order, ordinance, or rule of any county, incorporated city, unincorporated city, public local entity, or other political subdivision of the state. Any existing but contrary orders, ordinances, or rules promulgated or enforced are null and void. A person adversely affected by any order, ordinance, or rule promulgated in violation of the preemption section may file a petition with the Attorney General requesting that he or she investigate the matter and bring an action in circuit court for declarative and injunctive relief. The court may award reimbursement for actual and reasonable expenses to a person adversely affected if such an action results in a final determination in favor of the person adversely affected. READ ALL

The authority to bring or settle any lawsuit in which the state has an exclusive interest or right to recover against any firearm or ammunition manufacturer, trade association, or dealer, and the authority to bring or settle any lawsuit on behalf of any governmental unit created by or pursuant to an act of the Legislature or the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, or any of its departments, agencies, or authorities, for damages, injunctive relief, or other equitable relief resulting from or relating to the design, manufacture, marketing, or lawful sale of firearms or ammunition, or both, shall be reserved exclusively to the Attorney General, by and with the consent of the Governor. This does not prohibit a county or municipal corporation from bringing an action against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer or dealer for breach of contract or warranty as to firearms or ammunition purchased by the political subdivision or local governmental authority.

Government agencies are prohibited from using state of emergency powers to authorize confiscating or seizing any firearm or ammunition from any individual who is lawfully carrying or possessing the firearm or ammunition during a state of emergency. However, this does permit a law enforcement officer, in the lawful discharge of official duties, to disarm an individual if the officer reasonably believes that it is immediately necessary for the protection of the officer or another individual. The officer is required to return the firearm to the individual before discharging that individual unless the officer arrests the individual for engaging in criminal activity, or seizes the firearm as evidence pursuant to an investigation for the commission of a crime or, at the discretion of the officer, the individual poses a threat to himself or herself or to others.

Shooting ranges are, under many circumstances, protected from civil liability, criminal prosecution, or injunctions for noise or lead pollution.

It is unlawful to change or obliterate the name of the maker, model, manufacturer's number, or other mark or identification of any firearm. It is unlawful to possess, sell or use such a firearm.

It is unlawful to make any loan secured by a mortgage, deposit, or pledge of a handgun.

It is unlawful to supply false information or evidence in purchasing or otherwise securing delivery of a pistol, or in applying for a license to carry a handgun.

It is unlawful to possess or sell brass or steel teflon-coated handgun ammunition, or any ammunition of like kind designed to penetrate bulletproof vests. This prohibition does not apply to teflon-coated lead or brass ammunition designed to expand upon contact.

It is unlawful to carry or possess any firearm within any wildlife management area without a "permit allowing this privilege."

It is a misdemeanor for anyone other than the landowner or his or her immediate family to hunt with a centerfire rifle, a shotgun using a slug or shot larger in diameter than manufacturer’s standard designated number four shot, or a .40 caliber or larger muzzle-loading rifle, within 50 yards of a public road, public highway, railroad, or their rights-of-way. 

It is unlawful for any person except a duly authorized law enforcement officer acting in the line of duty or a person otherwise authorized by law, to discharge any firearm from, upon, or across any public road, public highway, or railroad, or the rights-of-way of any public road, public highway, or railroad.

HIDE

SOURCES: Code of Alabama §§11-80-11, 6-5-341, 9-11-304, 9-11-257, and 13A-11-50 through 13A-11-85.

CAUTION: Firearm laws are subject to frequent change and court interpretation. This summary is not intended as legal advice or restatement of law. This summary does not include federal or local laws, ordinances or regulations. For any particular situation, a licensed local attorney must be consulted for an accurate interpretation. YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL.

This may be reproduced. It may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.