Alabama Open Carry: Laws, Requirements, Application & Online Training
Alabama’s open carry gun laws are more permissive than in many other states in the U.S. The state allows most adults to carry a weapon out in the open without a permit. However, there are still specific regulations and restrictions in place to ensure safety and prevent misuse of firearms.
Alabama has relatively relaxed open carry laws, allowing individuals to openly carry firearms without a permit, given they comply with certain regulations. This article will delve into the specifics of Alabama’s open carry laws and provide insight into who can and cannot carry firearms openly in the state.
Open Carry Laws in Alabama
Open Carry with a Secure Holster
In 2013, Alabama enacted a law that permits the open carry of handguns in a secure holster. This means that individuals can carry their firearms openly as long as the weapon is safely holstered. Several approved locations for holsters include inside the waist, outside the waist, ankle, drop leg, shoulder, middle back, and small of the back. By adhering to these guidelines, individuals can stay out of legal trouble while carrying firearms in Alabama.
Age Restriction for Alabama Open Carry Laws
Alabama open carry laws allow individuals who are 19 years old and above to carry firearms openly. However, certain individuals are prohibited from owning or operating guns in the state.
Prohibitions on Gun Ownership in Alabama
Who Are Not Allowed to Own Guns in Alabama?
While open carry is legal in Alabama, certain individuals are not allowed to possess firearms. These include:
- Minors: Except when under parental supervision, engaged in supervised practice shooting, or hunting with the necessary permits and licenses.
- Individuals addicted to alcohol or drugs: To ensure responsible gun ownership and public safety.
- Individuals under valid protection orders: If an individual is under a valid protection order due to domestic abuse, they are prohibited from owning firearms.
- Individuals experiencing mental health issues: Those deemed mentally incompetent, insane, or admitted to a psychiatric hospital cannot possess firearms.
- Individuals with a history of violent crimes: Those with a record of violent crimes, including domestic abuse, are prohibited from owning guns.
- Individuals intending to harm others on public school property.
Purchase and Possession of Handguns in Alabama
Handgun Purchase Criteria
Alabama’s gun laws also facilitate the purchase of handguns without many restrictions. Any individual aged 19 years and above, without any prohibition against gun ownership, can purchase a handgun. Additionally, Alabama does not require background checks for handgun purchases.
Registration and Waiting Period
In contrast to some other states, Alabama does not require handgun registration, and there is no waiting period before possessing a purchased firearm.
Where Can You Open Carry in Alabama?
In Alabama, open carry is primarily allowed for law enforcement officers on duty and other authorized officials. There are no specific permit applications for open carry, as long as the individual is 19 years old or older.
However, there are certain locations where open carry is prohibited. These include police stations, highway patrol stations, sheriff stations, public demonstrations protected by the right to assembly, mental health and psychiatric facilities, wildlife conservation areas, and certain athletic events. Additionally, carrying guns in buildings such as courthouses and criminal justice buildings is restricted.
Prohibited Types of Firearms in Alabama
Certain types of firearms are also prohibited in Alabama. These include short-barrel rifles and shotguns that violate federal law. Firearms with altered identification marks, ammunition that can penetrate bullet-proof vests, and firearms disguised as other objects are also restricted.
Additional Gun-Carrying Laws in Alabama
Concealed Carry Disclosure
Contrary to popular belief, Alabama law does not require individuals carrying concealed firearms to disclose this information to law enforcement officers.
While certain ammunition is prohibited, Alabama allows the use of expanding bullets, even if they are Teflon-coated steel or brass.
State vs. Local Gun Laws
State laws in Alabama take precedence over local laws concerning handgun purchase and possession. However, local authorities can regulate firearm discharge and impose taxes through ordinances.
“No Weapons Allowed” Signs
Contrary to state statutes, carrying a gun in areas with “no weapons allowed” signs is not considered a crime in Alabama.
Alabama has relatively lenient open carry laws, allowing individuals to carry firearms openly without a permit, as long as they adhere to specific regulations. It is essential to be aware of the prohibited categories of individuals and restricted locations to stay within the bounds of the law. Whether for self-defense or other purposes, responsible gun ownership is crucial for public safety.
FAQs on Open Carry Laws in Alabama
Is Alabama an Open Carry State?
Yes, Alabama is an open carry state, allowing individuals to carry firearms openly without a permit, provided they meet the legal requirements.
Can You Have a Loaded Gun in a Vehicle in Alabama?
Yes, Alabama permits the concealed carry of loaded firearms inside a vehicle without the need for a permit.
Can I Shoot a Gun in My Backyard in Alabama?
The Firearms Code of Alabama does not specifically address firing firearms in one’s backyard. However, one must be cautious not to shoot within 100 yards of another person’s dwelling, as per state regulations.