LAWS ON PURCHASE, POSSESSION AND CARRYING OF FIREARMS

PURCHASE

It is unlawful for a person to deliver a handgun to anyone who he or she has reasonable cause to believe has been convicted of committing or attempting to commit a "crime of violence," a misdemeanor offense of domestic violence, a "violence offense, " or who is a drug addict, a habitual drunkard, subject to a valid protection order for domestic abuse, of "unsound mind," or a minor (except a provided in AL Code 13A-11-72). These restrictions don't apply where the recipient has had or her firearm right restored by operation of law.  It is a felony for a person to knowingly solicit or persuade a licensed dealer or private seller of a firearm or ammunition to transfer a firearm or ammunition in violation of state or federal law.


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 the state 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.

POSSESSION

No state permit is required to possess a rifle, shotgun, or handgun.


However, It is unlawful for a person who has been convicted of committing or attempting to commit a "crime of violence," misdemeanor offense of domestic violence, “violent offense,” or anyone who is subject to a valid protection order for domestic abuse or is of “unsound mind” (as defined in Ala. Code 13A-11-72) to own or possess a firearm. Drug addicts and habitual drunkards are prohibited from owning or possessing handguns. Minors are under a handgun possession prohibition unless one of the exceptions in Ala. Code 13A-11-72(f) applies. This generally requires permission from a parent or guardian, and where the minor is engaging in or travelling in a vehicle to or from: a supervised hunter education or firearm safety course; supervised target shooting or an organized competition; lawfully hunting or fishing and the pistol is being carried openly; is on property owned or controlled by a parent or other listed family member; or the minor is a member of the armed services or national guard and acting in the line of duty.


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.

CARRYING OF FIREARMS

With some exceptions, the open carry of firearms is lawful. With some exceptions, it is unlawful to carry a concealed pistol, firearm, or airgun without a permit. It is unlawful to carry a rifle or shotgun walking cane.


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."