Whether you’re new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed carry license may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons and ways to carry a concealed weapon, but the first step is knowing the laws. Applying for a CCW varies by state. Read about the process for getting a Alabama Pistol Permit below.

Similar to license requirements, states vary greatly in their processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed carry license, what their permits/licenses are called, whether licenses include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, license duration, license costs and turnaround times. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority. There are even states that require the applicant to provide a list of non-related character references.

Concealed Carry License Basics

Alabama is a shall-issue state. Concealed weapons permits are issued at the county level by the local sheriff’s office (although a sheriff has limited discretion). Shall-issue means licensing authorities in Alabama are compelled to issue a license as long as an applicant meets the basic requirements set out by state law. There is no license, background check or firearms registration required when buying a handgun from a private individual.

Alabama allows open carry without a permit. Any person who is at least 18 years old and legally entitled to possess a firearm can open carry. Concealed carry is legal for residents with an Alabama Pistol Permit and for non-residents with a permit from a state that Alabama honors. Alabama does not require the applicant to complete a firearms safety course or otherwise demonstrate knowledge of firearms safety prior to issuance of a pistol permit. Only residents that are at least 18 years old may obtain Alabama pistol permits. However, the county sheriff may issue a permit to active-duty military stationed in Alabama and their spouses. A pistol permit is valid for one to five years, based on the applicant’s choice. In terms of reciprocity, Alabama reciprocates in recognizing firearms licenses with states that recognize Alabama licenses.

Federally Prohibited Persons

The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 make it illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition. These laws prevent a state from issuing a concealed carry license/license as it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by federal law, to own or possess a gun.

What Are the Concealed Carry Permit Requirements in Alabama?

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Reside in the county where he or she files the application or be active-duty military stationed in Alabama or a spouse
  • Be a suitable person to be licensed
    • Not be a registered sex offender
    • Not have been found guilty but mentally ill in a criminal case
    • Not have asserted a defense in a criminal case of not guilty by reason of insanity or mental disease or defect
    • Not have required involuntary inpatient treatment in a psychiatric hospital or similar treatment facility for any reason, including drug use
    • Not have been the subject of a prosecution or of a commitment or incompetency proceeding that could lead to a prohibition on the receipt or possession of a firearm under the laws of Alabama
    • Not have caused justifiable concern for public safety
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal alien
  • Meet federal law requirements

*Consult with an attorney if you have any questions about your eligibility. If you don’t have an attorney, you can find one by contacting the State Bar of Alabama.

Do I Need Firearms Training in Alabama?

Alabama does not require the applicant to complete a firearms safety course or otherwise demonstrate knowledge of firearms safety prior to issuance of a pistol permit. However, the USCCA recommends that anyone who makes the choice to carry a concealed firearm obtain as much training as possible in order to be a responsibly armed American.

Find a Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals Class from the USCCA near you!

How Do I Get a Concealed Carry License in Alabama?

Step 1: Obtain the application form from your local county sheriff. Some counties have a permit application that can be downloaded from their websites. Some counties such as Elmore County and Jefferson County have online permitting systems.

Step 2: Complete the form.

Step 3: Submit your application to the sheriff’s office in your county.

            Pay the fee.

Step 4:  You will be notified if your application has been approved.

NOTE: On March 10, 2022, Gov. Kay Ivey signed HB 272, or the constitutional carry bill, into law. Beginning on January 1, 2023, anyone who is 21 years old or older and legally permitted to carry a firearm will no longer be required to obtain a permit in order to carry a concealed pistol.

For more information, visit the USCCA Alabama gun laws page now…

The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.