Alabama Gun Laws/Restrictions

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is being presented to the website users only as reference material to assist in the making of informed purchasing decisions; however, it is not intended to constitute legal advice nor counsel in determining compliance of the purchaser's Federal, State and Local gun laws, regulations and restrictions. has used reasonable effort in providing this information, from sources deemed reliable, but does not warrant or guarantee the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or currency of the information contained herein, or linked to or from this website. The information provided here is presented as an overview to the myriad of laws, regulations and restrictions in selling to, and shipping into, the customer's State, to be in compliance of that State's laws pertaining to restrictions of: firearms, dangerous weapons, ammunition, magazine round capacities, stun guns, Tasers, accessories, etc. Federal, State and Local gun laws are constantly changing, therefore, it is incumbent upon the purchaser to be thoroughly knowledgeable of the current status of Federal, State and Local gun laws governing their community, to assure that they are in compliance with those laws, regulations and restrictions.


Code Sections

Alabama Code Title 13A: Criminal Code, Chapter 11: Offenses Against Public Order & Safety, Article 3: Offenses Relating to Firearms & Weapons

Types of Illegal Firearms

  • Alabama prohibits possessing, buying, selling, or using a short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun AKA "sawed-off shotgun". This is a Class C felony that is subject to 1 to 10 years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine.
  • It’s also illegal to carry a cane gun, no matter how ornate a piece of art it may be. The penalty is a fine of $500 to $1,000 and imprisonment for not more than two years.
  • Alabama is one of 42 states that doesn’t regulate assault rifles (semi-automatic firearms with military features for accurate and rapid spray firing).

Waiting Period Before Purchase

  • None. In addition, you don’t need a gun permit to buy a firearm.

Who May Not Own Guns

Alabama prohibits several different categories of individuals from owning or possessing pistols:

  • Those convicted of committing or attempting to commit a crime of violence (murder, non-vehicular manslaughter, rape, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, larceny, mayhem, or assault with intent to rob, ravish, or murder) in Alabama or elsewhere.
  • Those addicted to drugs or a habitual /drunkard.
  • A person of unsound mind.
  • Anyone convicted of, or under a protective order for, domestic violence.

Minors under 18 years old may carry pistols for use in a firearm or hunter safety course or firing range; for organized competition with a non-profit group; or for hunting where permitted with a parent or guardian; in Armed Services or National Armed; and in self-defense at own residence.

Judges must report all individuals to the police who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility or who have been found not guilty of mental disorders.

Note that these gun control laws don’t apply to the sale of antique pistols for decoration or to their transport, if unloaded and in a securely wrapped package, but not concealed on the person.

Laws Prohibiting Firearms On or Near School Grounds

  • Several laws in Alabama are designed to prevent school gun violence, including that no one with the intent to harm anyone can possess a deadly weapon (guns, knives, grenades, bombs, metal knuckles, etc.) on a public school for grades K-12.
  • Students who bring a gun to school, school buses, or school-sponsored functions will be mandatorily expelled for one year.

Other Prohibited Places for Guns

Even if a person has a concealed carry permit, you can’t bring guns into any of the following places:

  • Law enforcement station
  • Prison, jail, or juvenile detention
  • Facility for people with mental illness
  • Courthouse, District Attorney’s Office, or city council meeting space

Additionally, unless you have a concealed carry permit from Alabama or some other states, you can’t bring firearms into a school, college, or professional athletic event. No one can bring guns into a secured building unless expressly permitted. No guns permitted signs should be posted at the public entrances. Offenses are charged as a Class C misdemeanor.

Employees are lawfully permitted to keep guns in their privately owned vehicles while parked in a public or private parking lot.


It is unlawful for a person to deliver a handgun to anyone who he or she has reasonable cause to believe has been convicted of committing or attempting to commit a "crime of violence," a misdemeanor offense of domestic violence, a “violent offense,” or who is a drug addict, a habitual drunkard, subject to a valid protection order for domestic abuse, of “unsound mind,” or a minor (except as provided in Ala. Code 13A-11-72). These restrictions don’t apply where the recipient has had his or her firearm rights restored by operation of law. It is a felony for a person to knowingly solicit or persuade a licensed dealer or private seller of a firearm or ammunition to transfer a firearm or ammunition in violation of state or federal law.

Any resident of Alabama authorized to sell and deliver rifles, shotguns and ammunition may sell and deliver them to a resident of any state where the sale of the firearm or ammunition is legal. Any purchaser of such firearm or ammunition may take or send it out of the state or have it delivered to his place of residence. Any resident of Alabama who legally purchases rifles, shotguns and ammunition in any state may take delivery of said weapons either in the state where they were purchased or in Alabama.

Firearms Restrictions
  • Short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun - AKA "sawed-off shotgun".
  • To carry a "walking cane" gun (no matter how ornate a piece of art it may be).
Stun Guns/Tasers Restrictions

State Statute or Definition: (13A-1-2 Dangerous instrument or weapon definition, but legal)

  • No restrictions

No state permit is required to possess a rifle, shotgun, or handgun.

It is unlawful for a person who has been convicted of committing or attempting to commit a "crime of violence," misdemeanor offense of domestic violence, “violent offense,” or anyone who is subject to a valid protection order for domestic abuse or is of “unsound mind” (as defined in Ala. Code 13A-11-72) to own or possess a firearm. Drug addicts and habitual drunkards are prohibited from owning or possessing handguns. Minors are under a handgun possession prohibition unless one of the exceptions in Ala. Code 13A-11-72(f) applies. This generally requires permission from a parent or guardian, and where the minor is engaging in or travelling in a vehicle to or from: a supervised hunter education or firearm safety course; supervised target shooting or an organized competition; lawfully hunting or fishing and the pistol is being carried openly; is on property owned or controlled by a parent or other listed family member; or the minor is a member of the armed services or national guard and acting in the line of duty.

It is unlawful for any person to have in his possession, or on his person, or in any vehicle any firearm while attending or participating in any demonstration being held at a public place, or within 1,000 feet of a demonstration after being warned by a police officer. "

A public or private employer may not restrict or ban the transportation or storage of a lawfully possessed firearm or ammunition in an employee's own vehicle, while parked on that employer's parking lot, if the employee has a valid concealed weapon permit, or: the weapon is one legally used for hunting, other than a pistol; the employee has a valid Alabama hunting license, it occurs during hunting season, the weapon is unloaded, the employee has no documented workplace incidents involving physical injury, is not subject to a domestic violence order, has no convictions for a crime of violence, and does not meet any of the mental health disqualifications for a concealed weapon permit. The motor vehicle must be operated or parked in a location where it is otherwise permitted to be, and the firearm must be either (a) in a motor vehicle attended by the employee, kept from ordinary observation within the vehicle, or (b) in an unattended motor vehicle, kept from ordinary observation and locked within a compartment, container, or in the interior or in a compartment or container securely affixed to the motor vehicle.

A short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun may be possessed, transported or transferred if done so in compliance with federal law. Machine guns, destructive devices, silencers, or suppressors as they are correctly termed, can be purchased, possessed and transferred, if done so in compliance with federal law. It is very important to locate a reputable N.F.A. licensed dealer when considering the purchase of such items.


With some exceptions, the open carry of firearms is lawful. With some exceptions, it is unlawful to carry a concealed pistol, firearm, or airgun without a permit. It is unlawful to carry a rifle or shotgun walking cane.

No person shall carry a pistol in any vehicle, or concealed on or about his person, except on his land, or in his own home or fixed place of business, without a permit. However, a person legally permitted to possess a pistol but who does not possess a valid concealed weapon permit, may possess an unloaded pistol in his or her motor vehicle if the pistol is locked in a compartment or container that is in or affixed securely to the vehicle and out of reach of the driver and any passenger in the vehicle.

Other exemptions from this prohibition on carrying are law enforcement officers; members of the armed forces or national guard, or to the members of the national guard organized reserves or state guard organizations when on duty or going to or from duty, if such members are at or are going to or from their places of assembly or target practices; any person engaged in manufacturing, repairing or dealing in pistols, or the agent or representative of such person possessing, using, or carrying a pistol in the usual or ordinary course of such business; common carriers (except taxis); and persons carrying unloaded handguns in a secure wrapper from a place of purchase to one's home or business, or to or from a place of repair, or in moving from one home or business to another.

On and after August 1, 2013, the sheriff of a county, within 30 days from receipt of a complete application of any person residing in that county, shall issue or renew a permit for a person to carry a handgun in a vehicle or concealed on or about one's person, for a period of one to five years, as requested by the applicant, if the applicant:

  • is at least 18 years of age.
  • has never been found guilty but mentally ill in a criminal case.
  • has never been found guilty in a criminal case by reason of insanity or mental disease, or found not guilty only by reason of a lack of mental responsibility under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
  • has never been declared incompetent to stand trial in a criminal case.
  • has never asserted a defense in a criminal case of not guilty by reason of insanity, or mental disease or defect.
  • has never required involuntary inpatient treatment at a psychiatric hospital or a "similar treatment facility."
  • has never required involuntary outpatient treatment in a psychiatric hospital or a "similar treatment facility" because of a finding that the applicant was a danger to self or others.
  • has never required involuntary commitment to a psychiatric hospital or a "similar treatment facility" for any reason, including drug use.
  • has not been subject to a prosecution or an incompetency proceeding that could lead to a loss of firearm rights under state or federal law.
  • has not falsified any portion of the application.
  • has never caused "justifiable concern for public safety."

The fee for a permit varies depending on the county.

The sheriff shall issue or renew the permit unless he or she determines that the person is prohibited from the possession of a pistol or firearm pursuant to state or federal law, or has a reasonable suspicion that the person may use a weapon unlawfully or in such other manner that would endanger the person's self or others, based on the above factors. A sheriff shall take into account how recent any disqualifying factor is in relation to the date of application.

If the application is denied, the sheriff is required to provide the applicant with a written statement of the reasons for a denial, and the evidence upon which it is based must be disclosed to the applicant unless to do so would interfere with a criminal investigation. The sheriff may revoke a permit for any reason that could lead to the denial of a permit. The sheriff shall provide a written statement with the reasons for revoking a permit and the evidence upon which it is based must be disclosed to the permit-holder unless to do so would interfere with a criminal investigation.

Any applicant receiving a denial or revocation may file an appeal within 30 days of notification of the denial or revocation in the district court of the county where the denial or revocation occurred. A sheriff shall have the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the applicant is prohibited from having a permit.

A permit to conceal carry firearms does not authorize any person to carry a concealed firearm into, but not limited to, the following places:

  • inside any police, sheriff or highway patrol buildings.
  • prison, jail, halfway house, community corrections facility or other detention facilities.
  • inside any facility that provides inpatient or custodial care for those with psychiatric, mental or emotional disorders.
  • inside a courthouse, courthouse annex, or a building in which a District Attorney's office is located.
  • a building in which a county commission or city council is holding a regular or special meeting.
  • any building or facility to which access of unauthorized persons and prohibited articles is limited during normal hours of operation by the continuous posting of guards and the use of other security features, including, but not limited to, magnetometers, key cards, biometric screening devices, or turnstiles or other physical barriers, and where the public entrances of such premises or buildings have been posted with notices alerting those entering that firearms are prohibited.
  • any location prohibited by federal law.

The police, sheriff, or highway patrol station building; courthouse, courthouse annex, a building in which a District Attorney's office is located, or a building in which a county commission or city council is meeting; and the posted secured location bans are subject to an exception in which a firearm may be kept in the person’s private vehicle if the firearm is kept from ordinary observation and locked within a compartment or in the interior of the person's motor vehicle or in a compartment or container securely affixed to the motor vehicle. An employee lawfully possessing a firearm may transport or store it in his or her private vehicle while operated or parked on the employer’s property, provided this is done in accordance with Ala. Code 13A-11-90.

Locations where concealed carry is prohibited must post a notice at the public entrances alerting those entering that possession of firearms are prohibited.

Specified school security personnel and school resource officers employed by a local board of education, and authorized by the employing local board of education to carry a deadly weapon while on duty; law enforcement officers; and persons with pistol permits are exempt from a prohibition on carrying and possessing deadly weapons on the premises of a public school (“no person shall knowingly with intent to do bodily harm carry or possess a deadly weapon on the premises of a public school”). A "public school" means a school composed of grades K-12 and includes a school bus used for grades K-12.

Pistol permit records are confidential and are only to be used for law enforcement purposes. A permit issued shall be valid for the carrying of a pistol in a vehicle or concealed on the person throughout the state. If a permit-holder establishes residence in another state, the pistol permit expires upon the establishment of residence in the other state.

A person who is licensed to carry a handgun in any state shall be authorized to carry a handgun in Alabama. Such a person shall carry the handgun in compliance with the laws of Alabama. The Attorney General is authorized to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states for the mutual recognition of licenses to carry handguns and shall periodically publish a list of which recognize Alabama permits.

Handguns possessed as curiosities or ornaments are exempt from the provisions on purchase, possession, or sale. Such handguns may be transported unloaded and in a bag, box, or securely wrapped package, but not concealed on the person. The same provisions apply to handguns, rifles, or shotguns made in or before 1898, or to black powder replicas not made to fire fixed ammunition.

With some very limited exceptions, the state legislature preempts the entire field of regulation touching in any way upon firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories to the complete exclusion of any order, ordinance, or rule of any county, incorporated city, unincorporated city, public local entity, or other political subdivision of the state. Any existing but contrary orders, ordinances, or rules promulgated or enforced are null and void. A person adversely affected by any order, ordinance, or rule promulgated in violation of the preemption section may file a petition with the Attorney General requesting that he or she investigate the matter and bring an action in circuit court for declarative and injunctive relief. The court may award reimbursement for actual and reasonable expenses to a person adversely affected if such an action results in a final determination in favor of the person adversely affected.

The authority to bring or settle any lawsuit in which the state has an exclusive interest or right to recover against any firearm or ammunition manufacturer, trade association, or dealer, and the authority to bring or settle any lawsuit on behalf of any governmental unit created by or pursuant to an act of the Legislature or the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, or any of its departments, agencies, or authorities, for damages, injunctive relief, or other equitable relief resulting from or relating to the design, manufacture, marketing, or lawful sale of firearms or ammunition, or both, shall be reserved exclusively to the Attorney General, by and with the consent of the Governor. This does not prohibit a county or municipal corporation from bringing an action against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer or dealer for breach of contract or warranty as to firearms or ammunition purchased by the political subdivision or local governmental authority.

Government agencies are prohibited from using state of emergency powers to authorize confiscating or seizing any firearm or ammunition from any individual who is lawfully carrying or possessing the firearm or ammunition during a state of emergency. However, this does permit a law enforcement officer, in the lawful discharge of official duties, to disarm an individual if the officer reasonably believes that it is immediately necessary for the protection of the officer or another individual. The officer is required to return the firearm to the individual before discharging that individual unless the officer arrests the individual for engaging in criminal activity, or seizes the firearm as evidence pursuant to an investigation for the commission of a crime or, at the discretion of the officer, the individual poses a threat to himself or herself or to others.

Shooting ranges are, under many circumstances, protected from civil liability, criminal prosecution, or injunctions for noise or lead pollution.

It is unlawful to change or obliterate the name of the maker, model, manufacturer's number, or other mark or identification of any firearm. It is unlawful to possess, sell or use such a firearm.

It is unlawful to make any loan secured by a mortgage, deposit, or pledge of a handgun.

It is unlawful to supply false information or evidence in purchasing or otherwise securing delivery of a pistol, or in applying for a license to carry a handgun.

It is unlawful to possess or sell brass or steel Teflon-coated handgun ammunition, or any ammunition of like kind designed to penetrate bulletproof vests. This prohibition does not apply to Teflon-coated lead or brass ammunition designed to expand upon contact.

It is unlawful to carry or possess any firearm within any wildlife management area without a "permit allowing this privilege."

It is a misdemeanor for anyone other than the landowner or his or her immediate family to hunt with a center fire rifle, a shotgun using a slug or shot larger in diameter than manufacturer’s standard designated number four shot, or a .40 caliber or larger muzzle-loading rifle, within 50 yards of a public road, public highway, railroad, or their rights-of-way.

It is unlawful for any person except a duly authorized law enforcement officer acting in the line of duty or a person otherwise authorized by law, to discharge any firearm from, upon, or across any public road, public highway, or railroad, or the rights-of-way of any public road, public highway, or railroad.


The entire matter of firearms and ammunition is reserved to the state legislature.

Unless expressly authorized by a statute of this state, the Legislature hereby occupies and preempts the entire field of regulation in this state touching in any way upon firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories to the complete exclusion of any order, ordinance, or rule promulgated or enforced by any political subdivision of this state.

The authority of a political subdivision to regulate firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories shall not be inferred from its proprietary authority, home rule status, or any other inherent or general power.

Any existing orders, ordinances, or rules promulgated or enforced contrary to the terms of this section are null and void and any future order, ordinance, or rules shall comply with this law.


Code of Alabama §§11-80-11, 6-5-341, 9-11-304, 9-11-257, and 13A-11-50 through 13A-11-85.

Last edited: 6/8/2016