Alabama

Updated as of Monday, April 29, 2013.

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 adjoining state. 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 adjoining Alabama may take delivery of said weapons either in the state where they were purchased or in Alabama.

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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 participating in or attending 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 while parked on that employers parking lot.  An employee must have a valid concealed weapons permit or the weapon is for hunting and the employee also has an Alabama hunting license and it is hunting season in Alabama and the weapon must be unloaded.  The employee must have no documented work place incidents involving acts of violence and has never been convicted for any crime of violence.

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.

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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 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, in his own home or fixed place of business, without a license. Exempt from this prohibition are law enforcement officers, common carriers, 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 18 years of age.
  •  has never been found guilty but mentally ill. 
  •  has never been found guilty in a criminal case by reason of insanity.
  •  has never been declared imcompetent to stand trial.
  •  has never declared a defense of not guilty by reason of insanity or mental  disease or defect or lack of "mental responsibility" as defined in Uniform Code  of Military Justice.
  •  has never required involuntary inpatient treatment at a psychiatric hospital.
  •  has never required involuntary outpatient treatment in a psychiatric hospital  with a finding that the person is a danger to self or others. 
  •  has never required involuntary commitment to a psychiatric hospital for any  reason including drug use.
  •  has not been subject to a prosecution or imcomptency proceding that could  lead to a loss of firearm rights under state or federal law.
  •  has not falsified any portion of the application.
  •  has never been deemed a justifiable concern to public safety.

A sheriff shall take into account how recent any disqualifying factor is in relation to the date of application.  The sheriff shall provide a written statement addressing the reasons for a denial and the evidence upon which it is based must be disclosed to the applicant.  The fee for a license varies, depending on the county.

The sheriff may revoke a license upon proof that the license holder could no longer pass the application process.  The sheriff shall provide a written statement addressing the reasons for revoking a permit and the evidence upon which it is based must be disclosed to the applicant.

Any applicant receiving a denial or revocation may file an appeal 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 license to conceal carry firearms does not authorize any person to carry a concealed firearm into, but not limited to, the following places:

  • 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 or those with psychiatric, mental or emotional disorders.
  • inside a courthouse, courthouse annex 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 athletic event not related to firearms held at a private or public elementary or postsecondary school.
  • inside a facility hosting a professional athletic event.
  • any location prohibited by federal law.

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

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.

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. 

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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.

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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.

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MISCELLANEOUS

No county or municipal corporation or its political subdivision shall regulate in any manner gun shows, the possession, ownership, transport, carrying, transfer, sale, purchase, licensing, registration or use of firearms, ammunition, components of firearms, firearms dealers, or dealers in firearm components. 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.

All government agencies are prohibited from confiscating or regulating the lawful sale, possession, transfer, transport, or carry of firearms during a state of emergency.

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 to hunt with a center-fire rifle, a shotgun using a slug or shot larger in diameter than standard four shot, or a .40 caliber or larger muzzle-loading rifle, within 50 yards of a public road, public highway, or railroad by anyone other than the landowner or his or her immediate family.

It is unlawful to discharge any firearm upon or across any public road, public highway or railroad.

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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.