The Alabama legislature has recently enacted some revisions (effective August 1, 2013) to the delight of many in the pro-gun community. The following is a summary of some of the changes. For an in-depth analysis of any of these changes, please contact us today!
How long is my permit good for?
You can now get a permit (no longer called a license) for up to 5 years at a time. Unfortunately, the fees don’t go down, but at least you don’t have to go through the hassle of renewing it every year. If there are any delays and they do not issue you a permit while you wait, they have up to 30 days to do so. There are only a few reasons that a local sheriff can refuse to issue a permit, but these reasons deal primarily with mental issues and/or criminal convictions. You do NOT have to be a U.S. citizen in order to be issued a permit.
Can I concealed carry in a location that posts a sign prohibiting firearms?
- the location continually post guards, AND
- they use “other security features”, including, but not limited to magnetometers, key cards, biometric screening devices, or turnstiles or other physical barriers, AND
- a sign is posted alerting visitors that firearms are prohibited
Thus, if they only have a sign, you can still concealed carry. If they only have a guard, you can still concealed carry. if they only have turnstiles, key cards, etc…you can concealed carry. They have to have all three of the above requirements for you not to be able to concealed carry. Thus, it should be painfully obvious that you’re not allowed to, and it would be relatively hard to mess that one up. If you come to one of these locations, simply lock it up out of sight in your car’s glove compartment (even if you are parked on the premises).
Can I open carry?
Yes, the new law specifically states, “it shall be a rebuttable presumption that the mere carrying of a visible pistol, holstered or secured, in a public place, in and of itself, is not a violation of [the disorderly conduct section of the Alabama Code].” Ala. Code §13A-11-7.
This does not imply you can run around waving your pistol at people. Note that it must be “holstered or secured”.
Can I carry on someone else’s private property?
Yes and no. If you have a concealed carry permit, then you may carry on someone else’s property, period, dot. Alternately, if you do not have a concealed carry permit, then you may also carry on someone else’s property if you get their permission. This applies whether you (or the person giving permission) owns the property or is a legal renter / lessor of the property. Ala. Code §13A-11-52.
As a reminder, you still cannot carry in the following locations:
- Inside the building of a police. sheriff, or highway patrol station
- Detention facilities (and their premises)
- Mental facilities (and their premises)
- Courthouses, courthouse annexes, etc.
If you find yourself at or near one of the locations, simply keep it in your vehicle, preferably locked in the glove compartment with the car doors locked as well.
Can I bring my firearm to work if my employer prohibits it?
The new law states:
A public or private employer may not restrict or prohibit the transportation or storage of a lawfully possessed firearm or ammunition in an employee’s privately owned motor vehicle while parked or operated in a public or private parking area if the employee satisfies all of the following:
- The employee either:
a. Has a valid concealed weapon permit; or
b. If the weapon is any firearm legal for use for hunting in Alabama other than a pistol… [not discussed at this time],
- The motor vehicle is operated or parked in a location where it is otherwise permitted to be.
- The firearm is either of the following:
a. In a motor vehicle attended by the employee, kept from ordinary observation within the person’s motor vehicle.
b. In a motor vehicle unattended by the employee, kept from ordinary observation and locked within a compartment, container, or in the interior of the person’s privately owned motor vehicle or in a compartment or container securely affixed to the motor vehicle.
Thus, if your employer attempts to restrict you from bringing your lawfully possessed weapon with you in your car to work, they are violating the laws of Alabama. However, you need to ensure that you follow all of the requirements outlined above. The most common scenario would be that you can now bring your firearm to work. When you get to the parking lot, you take it off of your person and lock it in the glove compartment. Although it appears you may be able to simply keep your car doors locked (since that would constitute being in the “interior”), to be safe, you may just go with the glove compartment instead. There are lots of other possibilities, so if in doubt, check with us and we’d be happy to do a more in-depth analysis of your situation.
Of note, this does not apply to federal facilities (such as Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville).
DON’T HAVE A CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT?
Without a concealed carry permit, you can still:
- Open or concealed carry on your own property
- Open or concealed carry on someone else’s property if you have their consent
- Travel in a motor vehicle with your pistol if it 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.” Ala. Code 13A-11-73. Easiest solution is in the trunk. The glove compartment would likely be within reach, and thus would not work. Other creative solutions could likely be found, but without the concealed carry permit, these options are limited.
- You cannot carry to an athletic event. Only permit holders can.
We hope this summary helps. As always, in the law, there are lots of nuances, so if you have unique, specific questions about your situation. Contact us today!