Alabama Gun Laws: Do I need a Carry Permit?

What are the Gun Laws in Alabama?

Alabama is a shall-issue jurisdiction, with concealed weapons licenses provided by the local sheriff’s office at the county level.

When purchasing a handgun from a private citizen, no permit, background check, or firearms registration is necessary.

Alabama does not need a permit for open carry. Anyone over the age of 18 who is legally permitted to carry a firearm may open carry. Some areas, such as schools and courthouses, are off-limits.

Concealed carry is legal for residents who have an Alabama Pistol Permit and non-residents who have a permit from a state that Alabama recognizes. Prior to the issuance of a pistol permit in Alabama, the applicant is not required to complete a firearms safety course or otherwise demonstrate knowledge of firearms safety.

Only residents over the age of 18 can obtain an Alabama pistol permit. Active-duty soldiers deployed in Alabama and their wives, on the other hand, can be issued a permit by the county sheriff.

Active duty service veterans who meet the requirements may receive or upgrade their pistol permits for free. Regarding reciprocity, Alabama recognizes all out-of-state concealed carry licenses.


Alabama follows the Castle Doctrine. According to Alabama gun rules, you do not have a duty to leave and are free to stand your ground as long as you are in a position where you have a right to be and are not engaging in an illegal operation.

Use of Force to Protect Oneself or Others

An individual is justified in using physical force to protect himself or herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by that other person, and he or she may use the amount of force that he or she reasonably believes is required for the purpose.

The law requires an individual to use deadly force in self-defense in a variety of situations, including:

  • When a person has a reasonable suspicion that another is about to use unlawful lethal force;
  • When an occupant of a building has a reasonable suspicion that a burglar is about to use physical force;
  • When someone tries to forcefully or illegally access a person’s house, home, business property, or occupied car, or tries to evict a person who has a legitimate right to be there from such in order to occupy it;
  • When an individual attempts to stop another from committing rape, sodomy, abduction, assault, or robbery; or
  • When an owner, employee, or other person allowed to be on business property witnesses someone committing or attempting to commit a crime involving death, serious physical injury, robbery, abduction, rape, sodomy, or a sexual crime involving a child under the age of 12.

Use of Force in Premises Protection

When and to the degree that he reasonably believes it is appropriate to prevent or terminate the commission or attempted commission of a criminal trespass by the other person, a person in lawful possession or control of premises, or a person who is licensed or privileged to be there, can use physical force.

A person can use lethal physical force in defense of property only if the person reasonably believes it is appropriate to prevent the trespasser from committing arson in the first or second degree.

Use of Force in the Protection of Non-Premises Property

An individual is justified in using non-lethal physical force against another person when and to the degree that he reasonably believes it is appropriate to deter or terminate the other person’s commission or attempted commission of theft or criminal mischief with respect to property other than premises.

  • “Dwelling” refers to a house that is normally occupied by a person sleeping there at night or a building of some kind, including any attached balcony, that has a roof over it and is built to be occupied by people sleeping there at night, whether the building is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile.
  • A “building” is any structure that can be entered and used by people for industry, public use, accommodation, or the storage of goods, and it includes any vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft used for lodging or conducting business. Each unit of a building that consists of two or more units that are separately occupied or protected is considered a separate building.
  • The term “premises” refers to any building or real property.
  • A “residence” is a dwelling in which a person lives, either temporarily or permanently, or is invited to visit.
  • A “vehicle” is a motorized conveyance used to move people or property.

Immunity from civil and criminal prosecution

An individual who uses force, including lethal physical force, as justified and allowed by this section is immune from criminal prosecution and civil proceedings for doing so, unless the force was found to be unlawful.

[Ala. Code §§ 13A-3-20, 13A-3-23, 13A-3-25, and 13A-3-26]

Handgun Purchase and Possession in Alabama

As previously stated, Alabama’s gun laws are lax. If you’re wondering, “Is open carry legal in Alabama?” The answer is yes. Anyone of legal age (18 years old) who is not on the list of individuals prohibited from owning a handgun in Alabama can purchase one.

Background checks are also not needed for people who want to buy a handgun in the state. To prove ownership of your pistol, retain the original copy of your receipt; a copy of the receipt will also come in handy.

In Alabama, there is no need to register a handgun after buying it, and there is no waiting period before possessing a newly acquired gun.

Age Restrictions for Alabama Open Carry Laws

In Alabama, someone over the age of 18 is allowed to open carry.

The conditions mentioned below will prevent you from owning or operating any kind of firearm.

Who Is Not Allowed To Possess A Gun In Alabama?

Although the response to the question, “Is it legal to open carry in Alabama?” is a resounding yes, there are still restrictions on who can own firearms.

In Alabama, it is illegal to own a firearm if:

  • The individual is a minor. Whether the minor is in the possession of his or her parents. It is also permissible to practice shooting under the supervision of an adult or to go hunting with all required permits and licenses. Check that the supervising adult does not belong to a group that is banned from owning firearms.
  • The person is currently suffering from an alcohol and drug addiction. People under the influence of mind-altering drugs, such as those described, are likely to have poor judgment and temperament. Allowing them to carry guns makes them more vulnerable to the public because they become unpredictable and are probably not in the right frame of mind to make decisions.
  • The person is the subject of a valid domestic violence protection order. In this context, a valid protection order is one that a person receives after receiving a notice and participating in a hearing.
  • The person is suffering from mental health issues. Another phrase for this is if someone is not of sound mind. If a person is a threat to himself or herself due to mental illness, is mentally unstable or insane, and is admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Since individuals suffering from mental illness are unpredictable, there is a greater chance that they will freely fire unlawfully in public, causing a public disturbance, accidents, and potentially fatal consequences.
  • The person has committed the crime of attempting or committing a violent crime. Domestic violence is one of these offences. In the state of Alabama, having a history of violent crime is enough to get an individual barred from owning a gun.
  • The person intends to cause harm to others on public school land.

In Alabama, where can you open carry?

Only active law enforcement officers and other designated officials are permitted to carry firearms anywhere. Otherwise, you must adhere to the position requirement while carrying a firearm in public in Alabama.

The following locations are prohibited from carrying firearms:

  • Stations for law enforcement, highway patrol, and sheriffs
  • The freedom to assemble protects public assemblies and other types of demonstrations.
  • Facilities for mental wellbeing and psychiatry
  • Conservation areas for wildlife
  • Professional sporting activities that have nothing to do with weapons. If you have a concealed carry permit or are granted permission from anyone in authority, you are exempt from this rule.
  • Any structure or location where the city council or county commission meets. Courthouses and criminal justice complexes are examples of these locations.
  • Jails, training schools, and prisons are examples of detention facilities. Other types of criminal and juvenile detention facilities include halfway houses, community corrections facilities, and other types of criminal and juvenile detention facilities.
  • Inside any building or facility that, due to security measures, restricts public access during normal operating hours.

What Are the Types of Firearms Prohibited in Alabama?

The types of weapons that can be carried and owned in Alabama are limited. Among these prohibitions are the following:

  • Short-barreled rifles and shotguns that are illegal under federal law.
  • Selling and possessing a weapon tampered with identifying marks, such as a firing pin or barrel. This prohibition aids in the identification of any cartridge materials, bullets, or other ammunition-related pieces fired by a particular weapon.
  • Possession of weapons capable of penetrating a bulletproof vest is illegal in Alabama. Teflon-coated brass or steel pistol bullets are examples of these ammunition.
  • People carrying weapons disguised as something else, such as shotguns and handguns disguised as walking canes on the outside.

Other Gun-Carrying Legislation

Contrary to common opinion, if you are lawfully carrying a gun, you are not required by law to report or inform an officer that you are carrying a concealed weapon.

There are ammunition limits in place. Bullets that can penetrate bulletproof vests are banned, as previously stated. Ammunition that expands on impact, however, is permitted, even though it is Teflon-coated steel or brass bullets.

In Alabama, state laws govern the purchase and possession of handguns. Local governments, on the other hand, have the authority to control the discharge of weapons and levy taxes through the passage of ordinances.

Carrying a gun in places where “no guns allowed” signs are posted is not a felony under Alabama law.


Is Alabama a state that allows open carry? Should they follow the “stand your ground” rules?

Yes. Standing your ground, on the other hand, occurs if you are not doing something wrong, are in the right place, and have the right to do so. Since Alabama is a Castle Doctrine state, you are not required to withdraw from an attack.

When it is lawful and appropriate to avoid an immediate threat to one’s life, one can use force. As long as the person is acting in self-defense, it is presumed legitimate.

In Alabama, Is It Legal To Drive With A Loaded Gun?

Yes, one can carry a concealed and loaded firearm inside a vehicle in Alabama if they have a state-issued pistol permit.

If you are unable to obtain a permit, your weapon must be discharged and safely secured in a locked compartment that is inaccessible to the driver or any of the passengers inside the car.

Alabama also accepts gun permits from the following states:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida (handguns only)
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York (New York City permits not recognized)
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

In Alabama, am I allowed to shoot a gun in my backyard?

The Alabama Firearms Code does not specify whether it is legal to open fire in your backyard. The law, on the other hand, specifies that you are not permitted to open fire, and private property is not on the list.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Administrative Code, Chapter 220–2-.139, states that one shall “not hunt or attempt to hunt within 100 yards of any dwelling belonging to another.”

It also states that “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 occupancy, whether occupied or not, or any commercial vessel, without the permission of said dwelling, building, or vessel’s owner or lessee.”

When you open fire, you must not reach any building or facility that does not belong to you, as this is against state law.

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