Weapons Charges in Alabama
Alabama regulates the possession and use of concealed weapons, including guns and explosives.
While you may usually openly carry firearms in Alabama, state law prohibits concealed carrying without a proper permit, and also limits other gun related behaviors, as described below. To learn more about who may possess a gun, and when and where you may carry your gun in Alabama, see, Open and Concealed Carry Laws in Alabama. And see Gun Permit Laws in Alabama to learn more about gun permits.
Selling Firearms to a Minor
It is illegal to sell or deliver a firearm available to a minor. Penalties include a fine of between $50 and $500. (Ala. Code § 13A-11-76 & 13A-11-57.)
Improper Firearm Transfers
It is a class C felony to solicit or convince a firearms dealer or private seller to sell or transfer a firearm under prohibited circumstances (such as doing so without running a background check, or selling to someone who is prohibited from possessing a firearm). It is also against the law to provide false information to obtain a weapon. (Ala. Code § 13A-11-58.1.)
It is a class C felony to knowingly possess or sell a firearm with its manufacturer’s serial number or other identification mark removed or altered, or to deface a firearm’s mark yourself (however, it is not illegal to possess a firearm whose mark has worn away through normal wear and tear). (Ala. Code § 13A-11-64 & 13A-11-82.)
If you have been charged with unlawfully carrying a concealed firearm in public, but were doing so because of a reasonable belief that you were going to be attacked, you may have an “affirmative defense.” (To learn more about this concept, see Affirmative Defenses in Criminal Cases.)
Raising an affirmative defense means that instead of arguing that you did not commit the crime in the first place (carrying a concealed firearm without a permit), you admit or “affirm” that you did commit the alleged behavior, but for a legally justifiable reason (for fear of being attacked).
If the judge or jury believes your evidence and finds that your perception of a threat was “reasonable” under the circumstances, you may face a mitigated (less severe) penalty, or be acquitted of the illegal carrying charges entirely. (Ala. Code § 13A-11-51.)
You may not carry a firearm (open or concealed) on someone else’s private property unless you possess a valid concealed carry permit, the owner expressly allows you to do so, or if you are an on-duty law enforcement officer or mail carrier. (Ala. Code § 13A-11-52.)
Firearm Restrictions by Employers
Public and private employers may limit or prohibit employees from carrying firearms (openly or concealed) while engaging in work on the employer’s property. This is true even if the employee has a valid concealed carry permit (an exception to the rule above).
However, employers may not usually restrict the legal transportation of firearms by employees when the firearm remains in the employee’s parked vehicle (although some specified exceptions apply, such as for employees with a history of violent behavior). (Ala. Code § 13A-11-90.)
And regardless of whether or not an employer restricts or allows employees to carry firearms at work, the employer is immune from any lawsuit arising from an employee’s use of a firearm while on the employer’s property (unless, of course, the employer actually took part in an illegal act as well). (Ala. Code § 13A-11-91.)
Rifle or Shotgun Walking Canes
It is illegal to possess or carry a rifle- or shotgun-walking cane in public (a type of walking cane that conceals a hidden firearm). Penalties include a fine of at least $500 (and up to $1,000) and at least two years in prison. (Ala. Code § 13A-11-54.)
Getting Legal Help
If you are facing charges for a gun violation in Alabama, or have questions about how the state’s gun laws apply to you, consult a qualified local criminal defense lawyer. Only an experienced local lawyer can advise you about how state and federal gun laws apply to your unique situation, and recommend the appropriate legal course of action for your case.