Is Alabama Open Carry?

Alabama’s open carry gun laws are a bit more relaxed than most states in the U.S. For most adults, carrying a weapon out in the open without a permit is allowed.

In 2013, Alabama enforced a law that does not inhibit the carrying of a handgun safely in a holster. In some states, the act of openly carrying guns is a disorderly conduct 

However, there are still restrictions on carrying guns in Alabama open carry or otherwise. The state has imposed reasonable limitations on who can open carry weapons and where open carry is allowed.

For one, open carry in Alabama is only allowed as long as the weapon is safe in a secure holster which an individual should wear on the following:

  • Inside the waist
  • Outside the waist
  • Ankle
  • Drop leg
  • Shoulder
  • Middle back
  • Small of the back

Keep these prohibitions in mind to stay out of legal trouble in the state of Alabama.

Purchase and Possession of Handguns in Alabama

As mentioned, Alabama’s gun laws are lenient. If you’re asking yourself, “is open carry legal in Alabama”, the answer is yes. The purchase of handguns of Alabama can be made by anyone who is at least 19 years old and does not belong to the list of individuals prohibited to own one.

The state also does not require background checks for individuals who have the intent of purchasing a handgun. It is advisable to keep the original copy of your receipt to prove ownership of your gun; a copy of the receipt will also come in handy.

One does not need to register their handgun after purchasing, and there is no waiting period before one can possess their recently purchased gun in Alabama.

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Age Restriction For Alabama Open Carry Laws

Anyone who is 19 years old and above is allowed to open carry in Alabama.

Below is a list of criteria for which you would not be allowed to own or operate guns of any kind. 

Who Are Not Allowed To Own Guns In Alabama?

While the answer to the question, “is it legal to open carry in Alabama?” is a resounding yes, they still have prohibitions as to who can possess guns.

It is illegal for one to have guns in Alabama if:

  • The individual is a minor. Unless the minor is in the property of their parents. Practice shooting under the supervision of an adult, or out hunting with complete permits and licenses is also allowable. Make sure the supervising adult does not belong to people prohibited from possessing guns.
  • The individual is currently suffering from an addiction to alcohol and drugs. People who are under the influence of mind-altering substances such as mentioned will most likely have poor judgment and temperament. It will be more dangerous for the public to allow them to carry weapons as they become unpredictable and probably are not in the right state of mind to make decisions.
  • The individual is under a valid protection order from domestic abuse. In this context, the term valid protection order describes an order that a person receives after getting a notice and participates in a hearing.
  • The individual is experiencing mental problems. Another term to use here is if someone is not of a sound mind. If a person is a danger due to mental illness, is mentally incompetent or insane, and is admitted to a psychiatric hospital. The unpredictable nature of people experiencing mental instability increases the risk of them openly firing illegally in public, which can cause a public disturbance, injuries, and possibly fatal consequences.
  • The individual has an offense of attempting or committing a violent crime. These crimes include domestic abuse. Having a history of a violent crime is enough to get a person prohibited from having guns in the state of Alabama.
  • The individual has the intention of harming others on public school property.

Who Can Apply For Open Carry Guns In Alabama?

Since open carry law in Alabama requires no permits for anyone above 19 years old, there are no application processes in place.

Where Can You Open Carry In Alabama?

Only law enforcers on duty and other authorized officials are allowed to carry weapons anywhere. Otherwise, you need to follow the location restriction in carrying guns publicly in Alabama. 

The following places are restricted from the open carry or concealed carry of guns:

  • Police stations, highway patrol stations, and sheriff stations
  • Public demonstration and other demonstrations protected by the right to assembly
  • Mental health and psychiatric facilities
  • Wildlife conservation areas
  • Professional athletic events that are not directly related to guns. An override of this law is applicable if you have a concealed carry permit or someone in authority permits you.
  • Any building/location that the city council or county commission convenes. Examples of these places are courthouses and criminal justice buildings.
  • Detention facilities such as jails, reform schools, and prisons. Halfway houses, community corrections facilities, and other criminal and juvenile detention facilities.
  • Inside any building or facility that has limited access to the public during regular operating hours due to security measures.

What Are The Prohibitions on The Types of Firearms In Alabama?

The state of Alabama has prohibitions in the types of firearms one can carry around and possess. These prohibitions include the following:

  • Short-barrel rifles and shotguns that violate the federal law.
  • Selling and owning a firearm with identification marks, e.g., firing pin and barrel that has seen alteration. This prohibition helps correctly identify any cartridge components, bullets, and other ammunition-related parts fired by a specific firearm.
  • Possession of firearms that can penetrate a bullet-proof vest has prohibitions in Alabama. An example of these ammunitions are ones that are Teflon-coated brass or steel handgun bullets.
  • People carrying firearms disguised as something else, e.g., shotguns and rifles that look like walking canes on the outside

Other Gun-Carrying Related Laws In Alabama

Contrary to popular belief, an individual legally carrying a gun is not required by law to disclose to or notify an officer that you’re carrying a concealed weapon.

Ammunition restrictions are in place. As mentioned above, bullets that can penetrate bullet-proof vests are prohibited. However, ammunitions that expand upon impact are allowed even if they are Teflon-covered steel or brass bullets.

State laws in Alabama supersede local laws concerning handgun purchase and possession. Local authorities, however, are allowed to regulate the discharge of firearms and levy taxes through the passing of ordinances.

It is not a crime in the state statutes of Alabama if you carry a gun in areas with “no weapons allowed” signs.

FAQs on Open Carry Laws In Alabama

Is Alabama an open carry state? Do they honor “stand your ground” rules?

Yes. However, standing your ground applies if you are not doing something illegal and are in the right place and have the right to do so. You are not required to retreat from a threat since Alabama is a Castle Doctrine state. One may use force when it is legal and necessary to prevent an imminent threat to one’s life. It is presumed legal as long as the individual is acting in self-defense.

Can You Have A Loaded Gun In A Vehicle in Alabama?

Yes, one may carry a concealed and loaded firearm inside a vehicle in Alabama as it is a permitless state.

Alabama also honors pistol permits issued by all other US states and Puerto Rico:

Can I Shoot A Gun In My Backyard In Alabama?

The Firearms Code of Alabama does not specify whether it is allowed to open fire in your backyard. The code, however, states where you are not allowed to open fire, and private property is not included in the list.

The closest law that prohibits one from firing in their backyard is in the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Administrative Code, Chapter 220–2-.139, which specifies that one shall “not hunt or attempt to hunt within 100 yards of any dwelling belonging to another”.

It also states:

“it shall be unlawful for any person to discharge a firearm while hunting in such a manner that any projectile strikes any dwelling or building used for human occupation, whether occupied or not or any commercial vessel, without the permission of the owner or lessee of said dwelling, building or vessel.”

When you open fire, you do not hit a building or any facility that does not belong to you as it is not allowed according to the state-wide law.

Additional Resources

Alabama Gun Laws
Alabama Concealed Carry Laws
Alabama Gun Permit Laws

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