Gun laws in Alabama
|Subject/Law||Long Guns||Handguns||Relevant Statutes||Notes|
|Permit to purchase required?||No||No|
|Owner license required?||No||No|
|Carry permits issued?||No||Yes||Alabama is a shall issue state for concealed carry.|
|Open carry permitted?||Yes||Yes*||Open carry is generally permitted. However, open carry in a vehicle without a concealed carry license is prohibited. As of August 1, 2013, the law states that: "It shall be a rebuttable presumption that the mere carrying of a visible pistol, holstered or secured, in public place, in and of itself, is not disorderly conduct."|
|State preemption of local restrictions?||Yes||Yes||"The entire matter of handguns is reserved to the state legislature."|
|"Assault weapon" law?||No||No|
|NFA weapons restricted?||No*||No||*AOW's disguised as walking canes are the only illegal firearms in Alabama.|
The Constitution of Alabama provides that every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the State. The State preempts local regulation of handguns. The handgun preemption statute reads "[t]he entire subject matter of handguns is reserved to the State Legislature." With regards to firearms other than handguns, localities may regulate the discharge of firearms and levy taxes. On April 21, 2010, Gov. Bob Riley signed House Bill 2 into law as Act 2010-496 amending Ala. §13A-11-63, to allow civilian ownership of short-barrel rifles and short-barrel shotguns, as allowed by federal law. The only firearms known to be prohibited are those disguised as walking canes.
Licensed dealers are required to process background checks through the FBI prior to completing a sale. Licensed dealers must keep a record of every handgun sold, including the purchaser's signature and particular information about the firearm being sold. Private sales of handguns and long guns are legal and no background check is required; however, it is unlawful to sell a firearm to a prohibited person.
Firearms are prohibited from certain places, including demonstrations. Firearms are prohibited on the premises of public schools only by persons with intent to do bodily harm. State administrative agencies have regulations restricting or prohibiting firearms in state parks, state forests, recreation areas, offices of the Department of Human Resources, domestic violence shelters, youth detention facilities, wildlife management areas, refuges, and sanctuaries, and licensed family and group day care and other child care facilities. Open carry on foot is generally allowed without a license, withstanding other applicable laws. Carrying a handgun in a vehicle, whether open or concealed, requires a license. Carrying a handgun on premises that are not owned or under the control of the possessor is prohibited unless the person has a valid concealed handgun license.
Alabama shall issue a license, unlimited, to applicants who are residents of the county in which they apply, who do not have any disqualifying criminal convictions, who are suitable persons. All Alabama county sheriffs, as of 2013, issue licenses to all "suitable persons." The law requires applicants to be residents, so they do not issue licenses to non-residents. The license is valid to carry a handgun in a vehicle or concealed on or about one's person within the State. Licenses are valid for up to five years** at a time. Alabama honors licenses issued by any state that also honors Alabama's licenses, provided that the license holder is not a resident of Alabama. **Currently the AL legislature approved a bill that will extend the concealed carry permits to five years. This bill was signed into law and will take effect in August. The new law also changes Alabama to a shall issue state.