Updated Concealed Carry Laws in Alabama – 2013

Conceal CarryThe 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?

Yes, unless:

  • 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?

Yes.

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:

  1. 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],
  2. The motor vehicle is operated or parked in a location where it is otherwise permitted to be.
  3. 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!

 

Alabama Elections – November 5th, 2013

Only one election is on the horizon in Alabama this November, and it is in the 1st District (Mobile and surrounding counties).  The race pits veteran politician Bradley Byrne against Tea Party backed Dean Young.  Young, although not a favorite amongst many traditional republicans, has taken a more principled stand on the issues, similar in vein to Dr. Ron Paul.  congressional_districtsSupported by Chief Justice Roy Moore, Mr. Young has stood out as a candidate who is “not afraid to speak the truth and stand up for those ideals and principles which have set us apart from the rest of the world.”    He has been very vocal in his opposition in the local area against tax increases (and their sneaky cousins, the government “fees”).  You can read more about his platform directly on his website at: http://deanyoungforcongress.org/issues/.

Some highlights, though, of his pro-freedom platform:

  • Cut inflation by returning to sound money principles, and auditing the Federal Reserve.
  • Reduce the size & power of the IRS, as well as consider ways to replace them permanently.
  • Stop using taxpayer money to bailout private companies.
  • Defend your privacy from government snooping (e.g. – the NSA).
  • Fight tirelessly to repeal & defund Obamacare.
  • Defend life and the rights of the unborn.
  • Cut government funding of Planned Parenthood.
  • Support generational families by killing the death tax.

Mr. Young appears to be a man of principle, and we wish him the best in his runoff election tomorrow.

What if I Die Without a Will?

Last Will and TestamentA common question that people have is what will happen to their belongings if they die without a valid will?  In Alabama, the law is pretty straight-forward.  Realize that these laws apply when there is either no will, or all/some of the existing will is judicially determined to be invalid.  Portions of a will that are struck down as invalid are treated as if that specific text is not in the will, but the remainder of the will may remain valid.  Thus, depending on how a will is written, if some portions are deemed invalid, some property may not be accounted for anymore in the will, and thus, only those things will pass intestate (according to the laws of the state, as opposed to the direction of the will).

Anything not covered under a will that is still part of your probate estate is known as your “intestate estate”.  Only those items are covered under Alabama’s law.  Thus, to break it down, all of you stuff will either go directly to who it should go to right away automatically or it will be part of your probate estate.  Of your probate estate, anything that is covered by your will will go to where it directs, and anything left over will pass by the laws of intestacy.  The following information only pertains to those laws of intestacy.  If you don’t like the way those laws apportion your belongings, then you need to plan ahead.  Contact us to ensure your plan will function the way you think it will.  We’d be happy to review your existing will and give you recommendations.

Alabama’s Laws of Intestacy

Spouse

  • If you have no children and your parents are deceased, then all of your estate goes to your spouse.
  • If you have no children, but one or more of your parents are living, then your spouse will receive the first $100,000 plus 1/2 of the remainder.
  • If you have children, all of whom are children of your surviving spouse, too, then the spouse will receive the first $50,000 plus 1/2 of the remainder.
  • If you have children, but one or more are children not of the surviving spouse (e.g. – children of a previous marriage), then the spouse simply receives 1/2 of the intestate estate.

Children

  • After the spouse takes anything they are entitled to take as outlined above, then the children begin to take.
  • Children split things equally.
  • If there is a child who has children (i.e. – your grandchildren), but that child has already died, then the grandchildren split that child’s share.
  • If there are no children left, but only grandchildren, then all of the grandchildren split it equally.
  • As a reminder, this is a very simplistic explanation.  For details of how it applies exactly to your situation, you need to contact us.  Things like adoption, step-children, half-siblings, etc. all make things a bit more complicated.

Parents and Other Relatives

  • If you have no children, your spouse (if you have one) gets the portion as outlined above.
  • The remainder then goes to your parents (split equally).
  • If your parents are deceased, then your brothers and sisters split things equally.
  • After that, things begin to go to grandparents, aunts/uncles, and cousins.  Again, for situations like this, it is best to contact us for an in-depth analysis.
  • If no one in the Alabama statutes can be found, the intestate estate goes to the State of Alabama.  This very rarely happens.

Other Issues to Consider

  • What if you and your spouse die together?
  • What about half-brothers and half-sisters?
  • What if you die while your wife is pregnant?
  • What if some of your relatives are not citizens of the United States?

These are all great questions, but you should contact us for some specific answers for your situation.  Not only can we help you prepare by drafting a will for you, we can also help your family when the time comes to actually use your will.  And remember, there are lots of other tools available to help plan for the passing of your material possessions when you die.  A will is not the only way to get your belongings to the people you love.