Alabama is a shall-issue state with concealed weapons permits issued at the county level by the local sheriff’s office.
There is no permit, 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 carry a firearm can open carry. Some areas are off-limits, including schools and courthouses.
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. Active duty military veterans that meet the qualifications can obtain or renew their pistol permits free of charge. In terms of reciprocity, Alabama honors all out-of-state concealed carry permits.
Use of Force in Defense of Self or Another A person is justified in using physical force in order to defend 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 a degree of force which he or she reasonably believes to be necessary for the purpose.
There are several circumstances in which the law allows a person to use deadly force for self-defense purposes, including:
When a person reasonably believes that another is about to use unlawful deadly force;
When an occupant of a dwelling reasonably believes that a burglar is about to use physical force;
When another attempts to forcibly or unlawfully enter a person’s dwelling, residence, business property or occupied vehicle, or attempts to remove a person who has a legal right to be there from such in order to occupy it;
When a person is attempting to thwart another who is engaged in the act of rape, sodomy, kidnapping, assault or robbery; or
When an owner, employee or other person authorized to be on business property when the business is closed to the public encounters a person committing or attempting to commit a crime involving death, serious physical injury, robbery, kidnapping, rape, sodomy or a crime of a sexual nature involving a child under the age of 12.
Use of Force in Defense of Premises A person in lawful possession or control of premises or a person who is licensed or privileged to be there, may use physical force when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent or terminate the commission or attempted commission of a criminal trespass by the other person.
A person may use deadly physical force in defense of property only when the person reasonably believes it necessary to prevent the commission of arson in the first or second degree by the trespasser.
Use of Force in Defense of Property Other than Premises A person is justified in using physical force, other than deadly physical force, upon another person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it to be necessary to prevent or terminate the commission or attempted commission by the other person of theft or criminal mischief with respect to property other than premises.
“Dwelling” means building which is usually occupied by a person lodging therein at night or a building of any kind, including any attached balcony, whether the building is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night.
“Building” is any structure which may be entered and utilized by persons for business, public use, lodging or the storage of goods, and includes any vehicle, aircraft or watercraft used for the lodging of persons or carrying on business therein. Each unit of a building consisting of two or more units separately occupied or secured is a separate building.
“Premises” includes any building and any real property.
“Residence” is a dwelling in which a person resides either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited guest.
“Vehicle” is a motorized conveyance which is designed to transport people or property.
Civil and Criminal Immunity A person who uses force, including deadly physical force, as justified and permitted in this section is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the force was determined to be unlawful.
Yes, without a permit. Any person who is at least 18 years old and legally entitled to carry a firearm can open carry.
Gun Permit Licensure?
If Alabama requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?
Shall issue, with discretion.
Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?
What is the minimum age in Alabama to get a concealed carry permit?
Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?
Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in Alabama with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?
Tasers or Stun Guns?
Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in Alabama?
Yes. Stun guns and Tasers are legal to purchase and possess without a permit in most of the state. However, a City Permit from the local police is required in the City of Mobile and stun guns and Tasers are not allowed to be possessed on school property, including storage in a vehicle on school property in the City of Montgomery.
Is it legal to buy or use chemical spray/pepper spray in Alabama?
Yes, provided it is not used against another person in the commission of a crime or against a law enforcement officer while the law enforcement officer is performing his or her official duties. The criminal use of a defense spray is a Class C felony.
Does Alabama have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?
Does Alabama have ammunition restrictions?
Yes. Alabama law prohibits the possession or sale of brass or steel teflon-coated handgun ammunition and other like ammunition designed to penetrate bullet-proof vests (armor piercing). This prohibition does not apply to the possession or sale of teflon-coated lead or brass ammunition designed to expand upon contact.
Can you carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in Alabama?
Yes, with an Alabama Pistol Permit or a permit from a state that Alabama honors. Without a permit, handguns must be unloaded and 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.
Can you carry a concealed firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in Alabama?
Yes, with an Alabama Pistol Permit or a permit from a state that Alabama honors, unless posted.
Carry/Possess at a hotel?
Can you carry or possess a firearm on hotel property in Alabama?
State law indicates a person may carry a pistol about his person on private property not his own, only if the person has a valid concealed weapon permit or the consent of the owner or legal possessor of the premises. Please note that each hotel develops their own policies and you should contact the individual hotel to inquire about it's concealed carry policy. See the Handguns at Hotels page for additional information.
Does Alabama have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?
A public or private employer may not prohibit the transportation or storage of a lawfully possessed firearm in an employee’s privately owned motor vehicle while parked in a public or private parking area if the employee is a concealed handgun license holder. The firearm must be out of sight while the employee is attending the vehicle. While the vehicle is unattended, the firearm must be kept out of sight and locked within a compartment, container or in the interior of the vehicle, or in a compartment or container securely affixed to the vehicle.
Is my Alabama driver’s license linked to my Alabama pistol permit?
No. Your Alabama driver’s license is not linked to your Alabama pistol permit. Therefore, a law enforcement officer (LEO) will not be notified that you are a concealed carry permit holder immediately when they run your driver’s license. However, LEOs may have access to other databases where they can obtain this information.
"No Weapons Allowed" Signs Enforced?
Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in Alabama? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.
No. Not mentioned in state statutes.
Does Alabama have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?
Yes. There is full state preemption of all gun laws in Alabama. Local authorities are only allowed to pass ordinances that regulate the discharge of firearms and to levy taxes.
No. No definition of brandishing was found in Alabama law. In addition, Alabama code specifically addresses that the mere carrying of a visible pistol, holstered or secured, in a public place, in and of itself, is not considered disorderly conduct.
Carry While Using Alcohol or Controlled Substances?
Does Alabama have laws regarding carrying a concealed firearm while using alcohol or controlled substances?
Not addressed in state statutes.
As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.
Does Alabama issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?
Public Access to Concealed Carry Registry?
Does Alabama allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?
No, however the information is available for law enforcement.
Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Alabama?
Background Checks for Private Gun Sales?
Are background checks required for private gun sales in Alabama?
No. Private firearms transfers are not subject to a background check requirement, although federal and state purchaser prohibitions, including age restrictions, still apply. It is recommended that you retain any sales receipts to prove ownership of the gun.
Alabama Permit Exempts from Background Check?
Does my current Alabama concealed carry permit exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase a firearm?
Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Alabama?
Do handguns Need to Be Registered in Alabama?
Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?
What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Alabama?
18 years old.
However, this does not apply to a transfer by inheritance of title to, but not possession of a pistol to a minor. There are certain instances where a minor can possess a firearm including:
When on real property under the control of the minor's parent, legal guardian or grandparent;
When attending a firearms safety course, target shooting at an established range or at organized competitions;
While hunting or fishing pursuant to a valid license, if required;
As a member of the armed services or National Guard; and
While traveling by motor vehicle to any of the locations or activities listed above, with written permission to possess the pistol by his or her parent or legal guardian. The pistol must be unloaded, locked in a compartment or container that is in or affixed securely to the motor vehicle and is out of reach of the driver and any passenger in the motor vehicle.
Possess a handgun on my private property without a permit?
Can I possess/carry a handgun in my home without a permit?
Yes. A permit is not required for a person who is at least 18 years old and legally entitled to carry a firearm to carry a pistol openly or concealed, on land under the person's control, abode or fixed place of business.
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State Constitutional Provision
(a) Every citizen has a fundamental right to bear arms in defense of himself or herself and the state. Any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny. (b) No citizen shall be compelled by any international treaty or international law to take an action that prohibits, limits or otherwise interferes with his or her fundamental right to keep and bear arms in defense of himself or herself and the state, if such treaty or law, or its adoption, violates the United States Constitution."
Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. The minimum age* for permitless carry is shown. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.
*PC-18 = permitless carry if at least 18 years old
*PC-21 = permitless carry if at least 21 years old
New Permits and Renewals - Set by county sheriff, but generally $20 per year, so $100 for a 5-year permit.
Active Duty Military Veterans/Retirees Any nondisability retirees from active duty military who meet the conditions for issuance of a pistol permit shall be eligible to obtain the pistol permit without paying a fee for the permit. Upon approval of the pistol permit application, the pistol permit shall be issued by the sheriff of the county in which the veteran resides upon presentation by the retired military veteran of the United States government issued Veteran Identification Card or a DD-214 Proof of Military Service form and sufficient proof that the person is a military retiree. The retired military veteran shall apply for renewal as required by law, but shall be eligible to obtain renewed pistol permits without paying a fee as long as he or she meets the conditions for renewal of the permit.
Alabama doesn't issue permits to non-residents, except the county sheriff may issue a permit to active-duty military stationed in Alabama and their spouses.
You will need to contact the local county sheriff to change the information on your permit.
You will need to contact your county sheriff to obtain a new permit.
Moving to Alabama and interested in applying for a resident permit? How soon can you apply? Alabama issues permits to residents only. You can apply for your permit to the sheriff of your county once you have established your residence in that county.
Moving from Alabama and have a Alabama resident permit? Does that permit transfer to your new state? Is there a grace period during which your Alabama permit remains valid? If a person with an Alabama pistol permit establishes residency in another state, the pistol permit expires upon the establishment of residence in the other state.
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.
You must renew an Alabama Pistol Permit before it expires. Mail or bring your old pistol license to your county sheriff’s office and complete a renewal application. Some counties have an option to renew online.
You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved within 30 days of receipt of a complete application.
Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details, check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.
Alabama does not have a designated state agency that is responsible for LEOSA matters, so no qualification card is issued by Alabama.
Carry in bars/restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes.
Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? No.
Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes.
Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests and WMAs? Yes. Handguns only in state parks and WMAs.
Carry in places of worship? There is no state statute prohibiting concealed carry in places of worship. However, since places of worship are private property, they may post signs prohibiting firearms.
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Alabama?
Places off-limits even with a permit/license
Prison, jail, halfway house, community corrections facility or other criminal or juvenile detention facility;
Police, sheriff or highway patrol stations;
Inside a facility which provides inpatient or custodial care of those with psychiatric, mental or emotional disorders;
Building in which a county commission or city council is currently having a meeting;
Inside a courthouse or courthouse annex;
Inside any facility hosting an athletic event (that is not related to firearms) which is sponsored by an elementary, secondary or post-secondary school, although concealed handgun license holders, may carry on the premises with permission;
Inside any facility hosting a professional athletic event although concealed handgun license holders, may carry on the premises with permission;
Inside any building or facility to which access is limited during normal hours of operation by the continuous posting of guards and the use of other security features;
Courthouse or building in which a district attorney’s office is located;
I can legally carry a concealed firearm in Alabama, but can I wear a COVID 19 protective mask while carrying concealed?
There is a law in Alabama that prohibits people from wearing masks while loitering in public. However, the state’s attorney general said in April 2020, his office would not be enforcing that law during the pandemic.
Can you concealed carry while shotgun/rifle hunting in Alabama?
Yes, with a valid concealed carry permit, provided the handgun is for your personal protection and is not used to hunt, take or to attempt to take wildlife except as otherwise provided by law or regulation.
Can you concealed carry while bow hunting in Alabama?
Yes, with a valid concealed carry permit, provided the handgun is for your personal protection and is not used to hunt, take or to attempt to take wildlife except as otherwise provided by law or regulation.
Yes. No person shall willfully and knowingly prevent, obstruct, impede, disturb, or interfere with, or attempt to prevent, obstruct, impede, disturb, or interfere with any person in legally hunting or fishing pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the law of the State of Alabama.
Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated and trained. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.
If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email [email protected] and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners!
Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.
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.
If you have any questions regarding USCCA Membership, Delta Defense, handguns laws or the lawful process of carrying concealed, please contact the award-winning Delta Defense Customer Engagement Team.
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