The purpose of this blog is to inform the reader of what "open carry" is and what limitations Alabama puts on such an activity. The information presented is not an all inclusive explanation of every contingency for open carry in Alabama, as the law has several conditions and prohibitions that a lawyer would be best to examine for an individual and his particular condition and circumstance. Alabama Gun Laws can be found in The Alabama Criminal Code (Title 13) in Chapter 11 of the code entitled, Offenses Against Order and Safety. If you wish to take a more in depth look into Alabama's criminal code as it pertains to firearms, the place to start reading the code would be 13A-11-61.3.
So is Alabama an "Open Carry" state? Yes it is. For those readers who do not know what open carry means, it simply means this; In Alabama, if you are NOT a person forbidden to carry or possess a pistol, you MAY carry a pistol in Alabama without possessing a concealed carry pistol permit as long as you DO NOT CONCEAL the pistol that you are possessing on your person. To break this down like fractions even more, it means that you can wear a pistol (in a visible holster) for the whole world to see as long as you:
- Are legally allowed to posses, carry, own or be around a firearm
- NOT a convicted felon
- NOT convicted of any degree of Domestic Violence
Open Carry in Alabama does have certain additional limitations. For example, you CANNOT open carry a pistol in your vehicle in Alabama UNLESS you have a valid pistol permit. If you DO NOT have a valid concealed carry permit from ANY state in the country, you are PROHIBITED from openly carrying a pistol in your vehicle while you are in Alabama. That means that if you do not have a valid concealed concealed carry permit you would have to put your pistol in a container in your trunk and store your ammunition SEPARATELY from the pistol before you drove on the roads in Alabama.
So assume that you were leaving your home (in Alabama) and going to a grocery store (in Alabama) and wanted to take along your Glock 19, but you DO NOT have a valid Alabama concealed carry permit. You would have to separate your pistol and your ammunition (one in the trunk and the other, lets say, in the glove box) as you drove to the grocery store. Once at the grocery store, you could then load your Glock and strap it on your hip and walk into the store and shop, as long as the property owner (the grocery store is private property) had no prohibition against firearms in their store. Once you were finished shopping, you would then have to separate the pistol and the ammo as you did before and drive home. Sure, its a hassle, but its the law in Alabama!
Please remember that if you DO NOT have a valid concealed carry permit from any state, you CAN OPENLY carry a pistol in Alabama (so long as you are NOT a certain person forbidden to carry or possess a gun) as long as THE PISTOL IS NOT CONCEALED. The moment you conceal the pistol by covering it with a jacket or shirt, or placed it in your purse, you have broken an Alabama law, specifically 13A-11-73.
Another tremendously important thing to remember is that there are certain places and events in Alabama that you may NOT carry a pistol under ANY circumstances, regardless if you have a valid concealed carry pistol permit or not. Those circumstances will be covered in future blogs on my website.