State of Alabama Pistol Permit Laws
Code of Alabama 1975
For the purposes of this division, the following terms shall have the respective meanings ascribed by this section:
(1) PISTOL. Any firearm with a barrel less than 12 inches in length.
(2) CRIME OF VIOLENCE. Any of the following crimes or an attempt to commit any of them, namely, murder, manslaughter, (except manslaughter arising out of the operation of a vehicle), rape, mayhem, assault with intent to rob, assault with intent to ravish, assault with intent to murder, robbery, burglary, kidnapping and larceny.
(3) PERSON. Such term includes any firm, partnership, association or corporation.
(Acts 1936, Ex. Sess., No. 82, p. 51; Code 1940, T. 14, §172; Acts 1947, No. 616, p. 463, §1; Acts 1951, No. 784, p. 1378; Code 1975, §13-6-150.)
Certain persons forbidden to possess pistol.
(a) No person who has been convicted in this state or elsewhere of committing or attempting to commit a crime of violence shall own a pistol or have one in his or her possession or under his or her control.
(b) No person who is a drug addict or an habitual drunkard shall own a pistol or have one in his or her possession or under his or her control.
(c) Subject to the exceptions provided by Section 13A-11-74, no person shall knowingly with intent to do bodily harm carry or possess a deadly weapon on the premises of a public school.
(d) Possession of a deadly weapon with the intent to do bodily harm on the premises of a public school in violation of subsection (c) of this section is a Class C felony.
(e) Law enforcement officers are exempt from this section, and persons with pistol permits issued pursuant to Section 13A-11-75, are exempt from the provisions of subsection (c) of this section.
(f) The term "public school" as used in this section applies only to a school composed of grades K-12 and shall include a school bus used for grades K-12.
(g) The term "deadly weapon" as used in this section means a firearm or anything manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purposes of inflicting death or serious physical injury, and such term includes, but is not limited to, a bazooka, hand grenade, missile, or explosive or incendiary device; a pistol, rifle, or shotgun; or a switch-blade knife, gravity knife, stiletto, sword, or dagger; or any club, baton, billy, black-jack, bludgeon, or metal knuckles.
(Acts 1936, Ex. Sess., No. 82, p. 51; Code 1940, T. 14, §174; Acts 1951, No. 784, p. 1378; Code 1975, §13-6-152; Acts 1994, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 94-817, §1.)
License to carry pistol in vehicle or concealed on person - Required.
No person shall carry a pistol in any vehicle or concealed on or about his person, except on his land, in his own abode or fixed place of business, without a license therefor as hereinafter provided.
(Acts 1936, Ex. Sess., No. 82, p. 51; Code 1940, T. 14, §175; Acts 1947, No. 616, p. 463, §3; Acts 1951, No. 784, p. 1378; Acts 1956, 2nd Ex. Sess., No. 43, p. 336; Code 1975, §13-6-153.)
Delivery to minors, habitual drunkards, etc.
No person shall deliver a pistol to any person under the age of 18 or to one who he has reasonable cause to believe has been convicted of a crime of violence or is a drug addict, an habitual drunkard or of unsound mind.
(Acts 1936, Ex. Sess., No. 82, p. 51; Code 1940, T. 14, §178; Acts 1951, No. 784, p. 1378; Code 1975, §13-6-156.)
Reciprocity for licenses issued in other states.
(a) A person licensed to carry a handgun in any state whose laws recognize and give effect in that state to a license issued under the laws of the State of Alabama shall be authorized to carry a handgun in this state. This section shall apply to a licenseholder from another state only while the licenseholder is not a resident of this state. A licenseholder from another state shall carry the handgun in compliance with the laws of this state.
(b) The Attorney General shall periodically publish a list of states which meet the requirements of subsection (a).
(Act 2001-494, p. 862, §1.)
Alabama Attorney General's Opinion
Alabama law prohibits any person from carrying a pistol in any vehicle or concealed on or about their person without a pistol permit license. Code of Alabama, 1975, section 13A- 11-73. Under Alabama law, a "pistol" is defined as "any firearm with a barrel less than 12 inches in length."
Licenses to carry a pistol are issued by local county sheriffs in Alabama. A person must be a resident of that county to apply for and be issued a pistol permit license.
On August 1, 2001, Alabama's handgun reciprocity law became effective allowing Alabama-issued pistol permits to become effective in certain other states. See "Handgun Reciprocity" for more information.
The license requirement of section 13A-11-73 does not apply to "regularly employed" law enforcement officers; to members of the armed forces or National Guard while on duty or going to or from duty; to persons engaged in manufacturing repairing, or dealing in pistols; or to any person permitted by law to possess a pistol while carrying it unloaded in a secure wrapper, from the place of purchase to his home or place of business, or to or from a place of repair or in moving from one place of abode or business to another. Section 13A-11-74.
It is our interpretation of the Code of Alabama that "regularly employed" law enforcement means full time, sworn law enforcement officers. Such persons are exempt from the requirement to possess a permit and may carry their pistols concealed or unconcealed.
A person may carry or transport a long gun (rifle or shotgun) without a permit. A person may lawfully transport a firearm, including a handgun, from one state in which they are legal to possess to another state without a permit as required under Alabama law, provided the following conditions are met:
The firearm is unloaded. Neither the firearm or the ammunition is readily accessible In case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver's compartment the firearm and ammunition shall be in a locked container other than the glove box or console.
Title 18 U.S.C. section 926A
Under Alabama law, no person convicted in this state or elsewhere of a “crime of violence" may own or possess a pistol. Section 13A-11-72. Crimes of violence are defined as murder manslaughter, rape, assault, robbery, burglary, kidnapping and larceny. No person addicted to drugs or habitually intoxicated may own or possess a pistol. Section 13A-11-72. Any person in violation of Alabama’s pistol laws may be arrested and upon conviction, subjected to a term of imprisonment of not more than one year and a fine of not more than $500, or both. The pistol will be seized and may be forfeited by court order.
Alabama Code Section: Title 13A, Chapter 11, §70