The Heart of Dixie, which is Alabama’s unofficial nickname, since the 1950s. In 1939, Alabama adopted the motto “We Dare Maintain Our Rights”. So, what exactly are your rights in the cotton state pertaining to firearms?
First of all, if you are going to conceal carry, which means that your weapon is hidden from public view, then you will need a permit. Weapons include knives, firearms, air guns, brass knuckles, etc. This is not just inclusive for pistols. The punishment for getting caught concealing a weapon is pretty broad, involving fines anywhere from $50 – 500. On top of the fine, they may also imprison you or allow you to enjoy some good ol’ hard work courtesy of the state. But, don’t worry, you only have to worry about jail or work for no more than six months. (13A-11-50)
If you are carrying a pistol on private property, you cannot conceal it unless you have a valid concealed weapon permit or the owner of the property told you that it was ok with them if you conceal your weapon. The exceptions to this rule are law enforcement officials, United States marshal/deputies, rural free delivery mail carriers and bonded constables who include people like conductors and express messengers. (13A-11-52)
Any fighting in any public place is against the law, unless it’s self-defense. (13A-11-54) To get more information about what is considered self-defense in Alabama, follow this link and read Alabama Code, Section 13A-3-23: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/alcode/13A/3/2/13A-3-23.
As far as minors go, they shall not be sold, given or lent any pistols or knives of any kind. (13A-11-57)
Residents of Alabama are allowed to sell and purchase rifles, shotguns and ammunition out of state. It must be legal in both state though. (13A-11-58)
When dealing with licensed firearms dealers or private owners, it is illegal for you to try and persuade them to do something illegal, such as trying to get them to sell you a firearm without going through tehe correct measures. It is also not ok to provide the dealers with any false information. (13A-22-58.1)
Do you ever go to any Second Amendment rallies? Here in Washington state, we hold rallies every now and then and many of the people present are either open carrying or conceal carrying a pistol. In Alabama, that is not allowed. Any sort of public gathering and demonstrations makes it illegal to have on your person or in your vehicle if it’s within 1,000 feet of the demonstration, any firearm. The exception to the rule, once again, is law enforcement officials. (13A-11-59)
Make sure that none of your ammunition is brass or steel Teflon-coated. It is illegal all over the state. Once again, law enforcement is the exception. (13A-11-60)
Not only is it safest to be at a gun range to shoot, but in Alabama it’s also one way that it’s legal. It is not legal to shoot into any building, occupied or not. That includes trains, planes and automobiles along with watercraft. (13A-11-61) Anything to do with a school bus or school building is also not allowed to shoot or discharge any weapon. (13A-11-61.1)
There is a long list of places other than mentioned before that it is not legal to carry or possess any firearm. I’ll summarize the list, but you can find the full text here: http://www.ago.state.al.us/File-Alabama-Weapon-Laws. Law enforcement buildings, prisons or correctional facilities, psychiatric and mental/emotional disorders facilities, inside a courthouse or a building having anything to do with county or city meetings, athletic events for elementary ages and professional athletic events. (13A-11-61.2)
The section on regulation of firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories, and goes into some detail and is too much for me to try and summarize here. It states, “(a) The purpose of this section is to establish within the Legislature complete control over regulation and policy pertaining to firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories in order to ensure that such regulation and policy is applied uniformly throughout this state to each person subject to the state's jurisdiction and to ensure protection of the right to keep and bear arms recognized by the Constitutions of the State of Alabama and the United States. This section is to be liberally construed to accomplish its purpose.” (13A-11-61.3)
Section 13A-11-62 details what each firearm is defined as. The description is included for rifles, shotguns, short-barreled rifles and short-barreled shotguns. The next section goes on to say basically if you have anything to do with a short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shot gun, you are guilty of a Class C felony. (13A-11-63) You are also not allowed to change, alter, remove or obliterate the name of the maker, model, manufacturer’s number or any other marks on a firearm that identifies it. Nor are you allowed to possess, obtain, receive, sell or use said changed firearm. (13A-11-64)
A pistol is defined as “any firearm with a barrel less than 12 inches in length.” (13A-11-70) Another section that has a lengthy list to it is Section 13A-11-72, which pertains to who is not allowed to possess a pistol. No felons or convicts, drug addicts or habitual drunkards, a person who knowingly will cause harm and public school employees.
If you want to conceal carry or carry a pistol in your vehicle, you will need to get a permit. Section 13A-11-75 shares a list of what the sheriff may consider before allowing you to receive a concealed weapons permit. There are more laws pertaining to licensed dealers and the carrying or possessing of firearms at places of employment. I will allow you to discover those on your own.
Are you just visiting or driving through Alabama? As long as you are already authorized in your state to carry a handgun and you’re willing to follow the laws in Alabama, they are willing to allow you to enjoy the right to carry in their state.
For today, that is all that we will cover on the yellowhammer state. I highly suggest that you do some research on your own and don’t just take my word for it. It’s definitely not a subject to be ignorant about. All of the information that I used today is included in the reference section below so that you can see for yourself what I have presented to you today.
Alabama Department of Archives & History. Alabama Official Emblems, Symbols, and Honors. February 6, 2014. http://archives.alabama.gov/emblems/emblems.html.
FindLaw for Legal Professionals. ALA CODE § 13A-3-23: Alabama Code – Section 13A-3-23: Use of Force in Defense of a Person. 2015. http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/alcode/13A/3/2/13A-3-23.
State of Alabama Office of Attorney General. Gun Reciprocity Law. 2013. http://www.ago.alabama.gov/Page-Gun-Reprocity-Law.
Blog posts are original content written by 1MMAGC moms and dads.