Concealed Weapons Permitting in Alabama

Posted on January 3, 2012

See our Carrying Concealed Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Alabama does not prohibit a person from carrying a concealed firearm in public if the person has a concealed handgun license. Generally, no person may carry a handgun concealed on or about his or her person, except on his or her land, in his or her abode or fixed place of business, without a concealed handgun license.1 However, a defendant being tried for carrying a concealed firearm in public without a license may give evidence that at the time of carrying the concealed weapon, he has good reason to apprehend an attack, which the jury may consider in mitigation of the punishment or in justification of the offense.2

Alabama is a “may issue” state, meaning that the sheriff of a county has discretion in determining whether or not to issue a concealed handgun license to an applicant.3 Upon receiving an application from any person residing in the county, the sheriff may issue a qualified or unlimited license if:

  • It appears that the applicant has good reason to fear injury to his or her person or property, or has any other proper reason for carrying a handgun; and
  • The applicant is a suitable person to be so licensed.4

A background check is required.5

Firearm Safety Training

Alabama does not require the applicant to complete a firearm safety course or otherwise demonstrate knowledge of firearm safety prior to issuance of a license.6

Duration & Renewal

An Alabama license to carry a concealed handgun expires not more than one year from the date of issue. The sheriff may also revoke a license upon proof that the licensee is not a proper person to be licensed.7

Disclosure or Use of Information

An Alabama law enacted in 2009 prohibits the disclosure of the name, address, or signature of any applicant for a concealed handgun license or of any concealed handgun licensee. Such information may only be used for law enforcement purposes except when a current licensee is charged in any state with a felony involving the use of a pistol. The sheriff of a county must redact the name, address, signature, and photograph of an applicant or licensee before releasing a copy of a license for a non-law enforcement purpose. Other information, including the annual number of applicants, number of licenses issued, number of licenses denied, revenue from issuance of licenses, and any other fiscal or statistical data remains public.8


Alabama generally recognizes reciprocal concealed weapons permits from other states, so long as those states recognize and give effect to Alabama concealed handgun licenses. A license holder from another state must carry a handgun in compliance with the laws of Alabama.9 For a list of states with which Alabama has entered into full or partial reciprocal agreements, see the Alabama Reciprocal Gun Law page of the Alabama Attorney General’s web site.

  1. Ala. Code §§ 13A-11-73 and 13A-11-74. This prohibition does not apply, however, to any person permitted by law to possess a handgun while carrying 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. Ala. Code § 13A-11-74. []
  2. Ala. Code § 13A-11-51. []
  3. Ala. Code § 13A-11-75. []
  4. Ala. Code § 13A-11-75. []
  5. Id. []
  6. Id. []
  7. Ala. Code § 13A-11-75. []
  8. Ala. Code § 13A-11-75(b). []
  9. Ala. Code § 13A-11-85. []