Gun Dealers in Alabama

See our Gun Dealers policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Alabama law requires every retail dealer of handguns (but not rifles or shotguns) to obtain a local license.1 A city, town or political subdivision may grant retail firearms dealer licenses that are effective for no more than one year, subject to the following conditions:

  • The business must be carried on only in the building designated in the license; and
  • The license or a copy thereof, certified by the issuing authority, must be displayed on the premises where it can easily be read;2

A law passed in 2015 removed other dealer requirements, including provisions that previously required dealers to keep records of handgun sales, prohibited dealers from selling handguns to purchasers who failed to present clear evidence of identity (unless the purchaser was personally known to the dealer), and prohibiting dealers from displaying handguns, handgun imitations, and placards advertising the sale of handguns in any part of their premises where it could be readily seen from the outside.3


  1. Ala. Code § 13A-11-78. ⤴︎
  2. Ala. Code § 13A-11-79. These provisions do not apply to the sale of handguns as curiosities or ornaments. Section 13A-11-83. ⤴︎
  3. See 2015 AL H.B. 47, amending Ala. Code § 13A-11-79(a). ⤴︎

Gun Industry Immunity in Alabama

The Alabama Attorney General, by and with the consent of the Governor, has the exclusive authority to bring or settle any lawsuit resulting from or relating to the design, manufacture, marketing, or lawful sale of firearms or ammunition, or both, if the lawsuit is one:

  • In which the state has an exclusive interest or right to recover against any firearm or ammunition manufacturer, trade association, or dealer; or
  • On behalf of any governmental unit created by or pursuant to an act of the Legislature or the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, or any department, agency, or authority thereof.1

A county or municipal corporation may, however, bring an action against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer or dealer for breach of contract or warranty as to firearms or ammunition purchased by the political subdivision or local governmental authority.

Alabama also immunizes sport shooting range owners and users from certain kinds of lawsuits. Alabama law states that any person, firm, or entity who operates or uses a sport shooting range shall not be subject to civil liability or criminal prosecution in any matter relating to noise or noise pollution or lead or lead pollution resulting from the operation or use of the range.2 Furthermore, any person, firm, or entity that operates or uses a sport shooting range is not subject to an action for nuisance and is not subject to injunction to stop the use or operation of the shooting range on the basis of noise or noise pollution or lead or lead pollution.3

See our Gun Industry Immunity policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Ala. Code § 11-80-11(c). ⤴︎
  2. Ala. Code § 6-5-341(b)(2). ⤴︎
  3. Ala. Code § 6-5-341(b)(3). For these immunity provisions to apply, the range must be operated between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., and either must have been in existence prior to 1990 or was in compliance with any noise or lead control laws or ordinances that applied to the sport shooting range and its operation on August 1, 2001, or at the time the sport shooting range came into existence, whichever event occurred first. Ala. Code § 6-5-341(b)(2), (3). ⤴︎

Gun Shows in Alabama

Alabama law provides:

“Persons dealing in pistols, revolvers, maxim silencers, bowie knives, dirk knives, brass knucks or knucks of like kind, whether principal stock in trade or not shall pay the following license tax: In cities and towns of 35,000 inhabitants and over, $150; and in all other places, $100. The required license amounts shall be paid for each place of business from which sales of such items are made. In addition to any other required licenses, a person may organize and conduct a gun and knife show of no more than seven days, by paying the maximum license tax prescribed in this section, as well as the maximum license taxes provided in Sections 40-12-158 and 40-12-174(d), for each such show. Participants shall not be required to pay the license taxes provided in this section, nor in Section 40-12-158 or 40-12-174 for participating in such shows, provided the organizer has paid the license taxes prescribed in this section prior to the commencement of the event. It shall be the duty of the organizer of such show to determine if each participant is licensed under the sales tax laws of this state as well as the particular county and municipality in which the show is conducted. The organizer shall be responsible for providing a list of participants to the county and municipality in which the gun show is held and for collecting and remitting all state and local sales taxes for any participant not licensed under state or local sales tax laws. In the event the organizer does not provide the information required herein or pay the license taxes prescribed in this section, prior to the commencement of the event, each participant shall be responsible for his or her applicable licenses. The organizer and all participants shall abide by applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.”1

See our Gun Shows policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Ala. Code § 40-12-143. ⤴︎

Guns in Schools in Alabama

Alabama law generally prohibits knowingly, with intent to do bodily harm, carrying or possessing a firearm on the premises of a public school, however, concealed handgun license holders are exempt from this prohibition.1 The term “public school” applies only to a school composed of grades K-12, but includes a school bus used for grades K-12.2

Alabama has no law restricting firearms on the campuses of colleges or universities.

See our Guns in Schools policy summary for comprehensive discussion of this issue.


  1. Ala. Code § 13A-11-72. The term “deadly weapon” includes any firearm. Ala. Code § 13A-11-72. ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎

Guns in Vehicles in Alabama

Alabama prohibits the carrying of a handgun in any vehicle without a concealed handgun license, except on the possessor’s land or at his or her fixed place of business.1 This prohibition does not apply, however, to any person permitted by law to possess a handgun while carrying it unloaded and store in a locked compartment or container that is in or affixed securely to the vehicle. The handgun must also be out of reach of the driver and any passengers in the vehicle.2

A person without a handgun license who is not prohibited from possessing a handgun may also transport it unloaded in a secure wrapper, from the place of purchase to his or her home or place of business, or to or from a place of repair or in moving from one place of abode or business to another.3 The general prohibition on handguns in vehicles also does not apply to the transportation of handguns as curiosities or ornaments unloaded and in a bag, box or securely wrapped package, when not concealed on the person.4

A public or private employer may not prohibit the transportation or storage of a 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.5 The firearm must be out of sight while the employee is attending the vehicle.6 If the employee is not attending the vehicle, 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.7

  1. Ala. Code § 13A-11-73. ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Ala. Code § 13A-11-74. ⤴︎
  4. Ala. Code § 13A-11-83. ⤴︎
  5. Ala. Code § 13A-11-90(b). ⤴︎
  6. Id. ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎