Alabama Gun Laws

When it comes to firearms, Alabama is pretty freewheeling. There are, as with any state, a few considerations that anyone coming in contact with firearms needs to know.

We detail a few (but not all) of these rules and obligations below, but as with anything related to guns, make sure you do your due diligence before taking any action.

Alabama State Flag
The Yellowhammer State Flag
Noccalula Falls - Gadsden Alabama
Beautiful Noccalula Falls in Gadsden, Alabama

How to buy a handgun in Alabama

No permit is required to purchase a handgun in Alabama, but you must be 18 or older and have a state-issued driver’s license.

Alabama does not require a background check if you’re purchasing from a private seller, but if purchasing from a licensed dealer you’ll have to submit to an instant (NCIS) Federal background check.

Alabama does not act as a “point of contact” for background checks (which pair using state, as well as federal, records and databases) so you’ll only be subject to the federal database.

Children & Guns in Alabama

Alabama law generally prohibits the purchase or control of a firearm by anyone under 18.

It’s also prohibited to deliver a pistol to anyone you have reasonable cause to believe is under the age of 18.

However, the above prohibitions do not apply if the minor has permission from their parent or guardian to possess the firearm (providing that person is not prohibited from possessing a firearm themselves) in a few situations:

  • The minor is attending a hunting education course or a firearm safety course
  • Practicing shooting at an established range under the supervision of an adult
  • Participating in a shooting competition 
  • Hunting or fishing with a valid license, if required, and permission of the landowner, and the firearm is not concealed
  • At home and using a firearm under the supervision of a parent, guardian, or grandparent
  • If the child is an active member of the armed services or National Guard and acting in the line of duty 
  • Travelling by vehicle to any of the above activities with permission to possess the firearm from their parent, and the pistol is unloaded and locked in a container out of reach from anyone in the car
  • Acting in self-defense of himself or people in their home or the home where they are a guest

Laws regarding ARs

Alabama has no laws restricting assault weapons.

Open and Concealed Carry

Open Carry

Alabama does not prohibit the open carrying of firearms in public.

Concealed Carry

Alabama is a “shall issue” state, meaning that a county sheriff must issue a concealed handgun license to any applicant who meets the basic criteria and is not prohibited from possessing a handgun or firearm. 

If you have a concealed carry license Alabama does not prohibit you from carrying a concealed firearm in public. In general, you cannot carry a concealed handgun without a license – except on your property, in your home or business.

Alabama does not issue concealed carry permits to non-residents but will recognize any valid out of state carry permit, so just be sure you have that available if you’re a non-resident carrying in Alabama.

Alabama also prohibits carrying a handgun in any vehicle without a concealed handgun license, except on your own land or place of business.

Self Defense Laws in Alabama

Alabama has what’s called a “Castle Doctrine” and ‘Stand Your Ground” law, which means you can use any physical force, up to and including deadly force, to defend yourself or another person from someone you believe is: 

  1. Using or about to use deadly force
  2. Using or about to use physical force during a burglary
  3. Committing or about to commit a kidnapping, assault, burglary, robbery, rape, or sodomy
  4. Using or about to use physical force against someone on business property when the business is closed to the public
  5. Breaking into a dwelling, residence, business, vehicle

Of course, using deadly force is and should be the last possible option – you’re always responsible for ensuring the appropriate kind of force is used in a self-defense situation – and deadly force may not be the right response.

Disqualifying Events

Alabama law prohibits people from possessing or owning a firearm if they:

  • Have been convicted of committing, or attempting to commit, a violent crime or domestic violence
  • Has a restraining order against them for domestic abuse
  • Is of “unsound mind”

In addition, Alabama law prohibits the ownership, possession, or control of a handgun if you are under 18, a drug addict, or “a habitual drunkard.”

Sources:

  1. Findlaw.com, Alabama Code Title 13A. Criminal Code § 13A-3-23
  2. Giffords.org, Alabama Gun Laws

Disclaimer:  While we’ve covered a topic and provided information that is legal in nature, it is not to be construed as legal advice, guidance, or considered a complete assessment of the applicable guns laws in the state. This article and all information are for educational and entertainment purposes only. You are always responsible for being aware of all laws and statutes for handling, selling, and using firearms.