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Note: The processes listed below apply to the majority of people. If you are active-duty military, honorably discharged military, law enforcement, or retired law enforcement, the processes below may be slightly different (easier) when applying for a concealed carry permit.
Types of Concealed Carry Permits
Note: Alabama (AL) sometimes refers to their concealed carry permit as a pistol permit.
- Must be a minimum of 18 years old to apply
- Must reside in Alabama
- Valid for 1-5 years – this is up to you
- Costs $5-30 per year, depending on your county of residence
Note: Any resident or non-resident that is 18 years old and can legally possess a firearm may open carry. No permit is required in this case.
Is it Required to Carry Concealed?
No – you may open carry or carry concealed with a concealed carry permit.
May Issue or Shall Issue?
Alabama is a shall issue state, meaning the law states that they shall issue a permit if you meet all requirements.
Process to Apply
To get a concealed carry permit in Alabama, you are required to apply at the sheriff’s office in your county of residence.
- Contact your local county Sheriff’s office for an application. Ask if they require any training courses be taken to apply for a pistol permit. Most counties do not require training.
- Bring your completed application to your local Sheriff’s office. Bring photo identification (state issued I.D. or drivers license) with you.
- The sheriff’s office may then take a complete set of fingerprints to be used for your criminal background check.
After these steps are completed, the Sheriff’s office is legally required to inform you in 30 days or less whether the permit has been approved or denied. Many Sheriff’s offices have been reported to approve applications in as little as 15 minutes. A denial, whether it be for a new issue or a renewal, may be appealed.
Depending on the Sheriff’s office, the permit will cost $5-30 per year.
Reasons an Applicant Won’t Be Approved
Your application is almost guaranteed to be denied if you meet any of the following conditions:
- You are illegally in the United States.
- You’ve been convicted of a felony.
- You’ve been convicted of a violent crime, including domestic violence.
- You’ve been convicted of kidnapping.
- You’ve been convicted of robbery.
- You’ve been convicted of burglary.
- You’ve been convicted of a crime punishable by a prison term greater than 1 year.
- You’ve been convicted of manslaughter (except vehicular manslaughter).
- You are subject to a restraining order or other similar court order.
- You are a drug addict, habitual drunkard, an unlawful user of any controlled substance, or are determined to be of unsound mind.
- You have a mental illness.
- You’ve received voluntary or involuntary treatment in a psychiatric hospital, mental institution, or similar treatment facility for any reason.
- You are a fugitive from justice.
- You’ve been dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces.
- You are subject to a firearms seizure order.
Location Restrictions for Carrying
It is unlawful to carry a handgun, even if you have a concealed carry permit, in the following locations:
- Federal buildings.
- Federal prisons.
- Indian reservations.
- Post offices.
- Military bases.
- The Alabama State House.
- Passed the security checkpoint at airports.
- Jails, prisons, or other correctional facilities.
- Psychiatric hospitals or mental institutions.
- Any meeting location of the county commission or city council.
- Anywhere you decide to consume alcohol. You cannot carry a firearm if you consume any alcohol.
- At any demonstration being held in public. In fact, you cannot have a firearm on your person or in your vehicle if you are within 1000 feet of the public demonstration.
- Any facility that hosts an athletic event for an elementary or secondary school. However, with permission from the owner or person in charge, concealed carry permit holders may carry.
- Any postsecondary school. However, with permission from the owner or person in charge, concealed carry permit holders may carry.
- A facility hosting a professional athletic event. However, with permission from the owner or person in charge, concealed carry permit holders may carry.
In the following locations, it is also unlawful to carry. However, you may keep a firearm in your vehicle at the following locations if (1) the firearm is hidden from plain sight, (2) the firearm is locked within a compartment/container that is securely affixed to the vehicle’s interior, and (3) you have permission from someone who has authority over the premises.
- Sheriff’s office, police office, or highway patrol station.
- A courthouse or building in which a District Attorney’s office is located;
- A building or facility to which access of unauthorized persons and prohibited articles is limited during normal hours of operation by the continuous posting of guards and the use of other security features
Transporting a Handgun Through & Throughout AL
With a Concealed Carry Permit
If you have an AL or AL recognized concealed carry permit, you may transport a loaded handgun on your person in a vehicle.
Without a Concealed Carry Permit
If you legally possess a handgun, but do not have an AL or AL recognized concealed carry permit, you may transport a handgun through (from another state into AL) and throughout (within AL) under the following conditions:
- The firearm must be unloaded.
- The firearm (and ammunition) cannot be readily accessible by the driver or any passengers.
- The firearm and the ammunition cannot be stored in the glove compartment or passenger console.
- If the vehicle does not have a compartment separate from the glove compartment, the firearm and ammunition must be stored locked within a compartment/container that is securely affixed to the vehicle’s interior.
Additional Notes About AL Handgun Law
Does AL Law Incorporate Stand Your Ground?
The Stand Your Ground law permits you to use force, and not retreat, when faced with a threat. Stand Your Ground protects your use of force, even deadly force, when used to protect yourself or others if you reasonably believe there is an imminent threat of serious harm or death. To be protected under Stand Your Ground, you must be in a place where you have the lawful right to be.
Does AL Law Incorporate the Castle Doctrine?
The Castle Doctrine is similar to Stand Your Ground. The Castle Doctrine permits you to use force (even deadly force), and not retreat, when you’re in your own home. This again assumes you reasonably believe there is an imminent threat of serious harm or death on yourself or others in your home.
This ‘castle’ is sometimes broadened to cover you when you’re in your yard, car, etc. Each state’s Castle Doctrine law is written differently – consult your state’s law to confirm if your state extends the meaning of a ‘castle’ to cover more than just your home.
Reciprocity – What State Permits Does AL Recognize?
ALL. AL honors every other states’ concealed carry permits.
Reciprocity – Where is the AL Permit Recognized?
The AL concealed carry permit is recognized in the following states:
- August 14, 2018 – PA now recognizes AL permit – graphic updated.