On the continuum of state gun laws, those passed by the Alabama legislature are generally thought to fall on the fairly permissive end. Known as an open carry jurisdiction, Alabama provides that it is legal for adults to openly carry firearms, even without a permit. Of course, that is not to say there are not restrictions in place with regard to guns, and the fact is that those who violate the law will be held to account and will face serious consequences for conviction. Among the potential sanctions are costly fines, terms of incarceration and other limitations on freedom.
If you have been accused of a firearms-related crime and are seeking a strong defense strategy, an Alabama gun lawyer is prepared to enter the fray and fight on your behalf.
The right to possess firearms in Alabama is subject to a significant number of restrictions with which citizens should familiarize themselves.
For instance, among those forbidden from possessing a pistol include those convicted of attempting or committing a violent crime including domestic violence, those designated as drug addicts or alcoholics, and those intending to do harm at the site of a public school. Other circumstances in which it is impermissible to carry a firearm in the state of Alabama include:
- When inside a vehicle, unless a valid permit is held
- When a pistol is concealed and no permit exists (unless on own land or in own home or business)
- While attending a public demonstration event
- Within wildlife management areas, except with valid permit
Furthermore, anyone other than a peace officer is forbidden from carrying a short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle. It is also illegal to possess Teflon-coated ammunition, and those convicted of doing so while attempting to commit or committing a felony will face enhanced sentencing.
Penalties for Violations
Many violations of state gun law carry upwards of one year in jail or a fine of up to $500. Of course, certain offenses are considered to be more serious than others, bringing with them more serious penalties, such as:
- Up to five years’ imprisonment for those convicted of providing false information in an effort to obtain a gun
- Up to five years’ imprisonment for those found guilty of committing or attempted commission of a violent crime while in possession of a gun
- Between one and ten years’ imprisonment for those illegally in possession of short-barreled rifles or short-barreled shotguns
- Between one and ten years’ imprisonment for those guilty of deadly weapons possession with the intent to do harm on the site of a public school, with deadly weapons including bazookas, hand grenades, explosives, guns, swords, daggers, bludgeons, metal knuckles
Though the prospect of jail time, expensive monetary fines or license revocations can be frightening, those accused of gun offenses in Alabama need to know viable defenses are often available.
For instance, a defense may include the fact that at the time of carrying a concealed weapon, the individual had good reason to fear an imminent attack. This may receive mitigation of the penalties which might otherwise apply. Regardless of the specific circumstances of a given case, a skilled gun rights attorney will explore every factual angle in an effort to have charges reduced or even dropped altogether, or at the very least, have sanctions lessened to a significant degree.
If you have been accused of a gun-related offense, the time to begin mounting a strong defense is now. An Alabama gun lawyer can get to work exploiting holes in the prosecution’s case and fight hard to protect your rights.