Domestic Violence & Firearms in Alabama

Posted on June 26, 2012

Alabama law does not:

  • Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition, unlike federal law;
  • Prohibit individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition, unlike federal law;
  • Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law;
  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
  • Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident, although Alabama authorizes a law enforcement officer to disarm an individual if the officer reasonably believes that it is immediately necessary for the protection of the officer or another individual. The officer must return the firearm to the individual before discharging that individual unless the officer arrests that individual for engaging in criminal activity or seizes the firearm as evidence pursuant to an investigation for the commission of a crime or, at the discretion of the officer, the individual poses a threat to himself or herself or to others.1

The only provision of Alabama law addressing firearms in domestic violence situations authorizes a judge or magistrate, who is releasing a person who has been charged with domestic violence or violation of a protection order on bail, to prohibit the person from possessing a firearm, as a condition of bail, except when such weapon is necessary for the person’s employment as a peace officer or military personnel.2

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Ala. Code §§ 31-9-8(d), 31-9-10(d). []
  2. Ala. Code § 15-13-190. []