Posted on August 24, 2015
Alabama law generally prohibits selling, giving or lending a handgun to any person under age 18.1 Alabama also generally prohibits a person from delivering a handgun if he or she has reasonable cause to believe the transferee is under the age of 18.2
However, these prohibitions do not apply if the minor has permission to possess a pistol from a parent or legal guardian who is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law, when any of the following are also satisfied:3
- The minor is attending a hunter education course or a firearms safety course under the supervision of an adult who is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law;
- The minor is engaging in practice in the use of a firearm or target shooting at an established range under the supervision of an adult who is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law;
- The minor is engaging in an organized competition involving the use of a firearm or participating in or practicing for a performance by an organized group under 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3) which uses firearms as part of the performance;
- The minor is hunting or fishing pursuant to a valid license, if required, and the person has the license in his or her possession; has written permission of the owner or legal possessor of the land on which the activities are being conducted; and the pistol, when loaded, is carried only in a manner discernible by ordinary observation;
- The minor is on real property under the control of the minor’s parent, legal guardian, or grandparent;
- The minor is a member of the armed services or National Guard and the minor is acting in the line of duty; or
- The minor is traveling by motor vehicle to any of the locations or activities listed above, has written permission to possess the pistol by his or her parent or legal guardian, and the pistol is unloaded, locked in a compartment or container that is in or affixed securely to the motor vehicle and is out of reach of the driver and any passenger in the motor vehicle.
A minor is also not prohibited from using a pistol while acting in self-defense of himself or herself or other persons against an intruder into the residence of the minor or a residence in which the minor is an invited guest.4
Federal age restrictions impose stricter limits.
See our Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
- Ala. Code § 13A-11-57. This section does not apply to a transfer by inheritance of title to, but not possession of, a handgun to a minor. See also Ala. Code § 13A-11-76 (defining minor as a person under age 18). [↩]
- Ala. Code § 13A-11-76. However, Ala. Code § 13A-11-76 does not apply to the sale of handguns as curiosities or ornaments. Ala. Code § 13A-11-83. [↩]
- Ala. Code § 13A-11-72(f). [↩]
- Ala. Code § 13A-11-72(g). [↩]