With crime going up across America it’s getting more and more important for law-abiding Alabamians like you to be able to defend themselves. That’s why I’ve written this article on legal self-defense weapons in the Yellowhammer State.
Legal Self Defense Weapons in Alabama
The following weapons are legal to own and carry in The State of Alabama.
- Standard stun guns
- Some knives
- Tactical Pens
- Personal alarms
Alabama Self Defense Laws
Alabama is a stand your ground and a castle doctrine state. This means that are you allowed to use up to deadly force to defend yourself. It’s important to note that you absolutely could not have started the altercation to be covered under this protection. In other words, you couldn’t have intentionally shoved someone and then shoot him when he shoves you back.
Some situations where deadly force is allowed:
- If you believe someone is about to use unlawful deadly force;
- If you believe that a burglar is about to use physical force;
- If someone is about to rape, kidnap, assault, or rob you.
- When a person attempts to unlawfully enter a home or vehicle, or attempts to remove a person from such in order to occupy it.
- When someone attempts to injure another person
Alabama Concealed Carry Laws
You may carry a concealed weapon in Alabama with a pistol permit. Per the Alabama Sherif’s Association, only the sheriff’s office in the county in which you reside may issue a pistol permit. (source) You may use this link to find the page for your local sheriff’s office. Alabama recognizes permits from any other state.
How to Register a gun in Alabama
Simply put you don’t need to register a firearm in the State in Alabama.
Can you Have a Rifle in Your Car in Alabama?
Yes, if you have a pistol permit you may have a handgun or rifle in your vehicle in Alabama.
On April 21, 2010, Gov. Bob Riley signed House Bill 2 into law as Act 2010-496 amending Ala. §13A-11-63, to allow civilian ownership of short-barrel rifles and short-barrel shotguns, as allowed by federal law.
Without a pistol permit, you may not have loaded rifles out in the open in your vehicle. You may transport it unloaded. (source)
Who Can’t get a Pistol Permit in Alabama?
- Any person who has been convicted of a felony (a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year).
- Any person who has been convicted of committing or attempting to commit a crime of violence, including murder, manslaughter (except manslaughter arising from the operation of a vehicle), rape, mayhem, assault with intent to rob, assault with intent to ravish, assault with intent to murder, robbery, distribution of a controlled substance, burglary and kidnapping.
- Any person who is an unlawful drug user, a drug addict or a habitual drunkard. Factors to consider include repeated and recent arrests or convictions for drug crimes, DUI, and/or public intoxication.
- Any person who is under indictment for a crime punishable for imprisonment exceeding one year.
- Any person who has been convicted of domestic violence, even if the conviction is a misdemeanor.
- Any person discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions.
- Any person who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution, or any person who has asserted a defense of not guilty by reason of insanity or mental defect in a criminal proceeding.
- Any person who is or has been a subject of an incompetency proceeding, the result of which may prohibit the possession of a firearm.
- Any person who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his/her citizenship.
- Any person who is a fugitive from justice.
- Any person who is an alien illegally in the United States or under a non-immigrant visa.
- Any person who is subject to a court order that restrains that person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of an intimate partner.
- Any person who causes justifiable concern for public safety, according to Ala. Act. No. 2013-283.
Ex-felons that have received a state pardon from the Alabama Board of Pardons & Paroles restoring their firearm rights and have had their NCIC record updated by the FBI CJIS may apply for a permit after having a thorough background check and a face-to-face meeting with the county sheriff or their designated representative.
Can you Shoot a Gun on Your Property?
If you are more than 100 yards always from someone else’s home you may shoot a gun according to state law. The only law that Alabama may have that is applicable is hunting. You’re not allowed to hunt within 100 yards of someone else’s property unless you have the owner’s or lessee’s permission.
220-2-.139 Hunting Or Discharging A Firearm Near A Dwelling, Etc. It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or attempt to hunt within 100 yards of any dwelling belonging to another, whether occupied or not, without the permission or the owner or lessee of said dwelling. Provided further, it shall be unlawful for any person to discharge a firearm while hunting in such a manner that any projectile strikes any dwelling or building used for human occupation, whether occupied or not, or any commercial vessel, without the permission of the owner or lessee of said dwelling, building or vessel. This regulation shall not apply to a landowner or member of his or her immediate family hunting on his or her own property provided that no projectile strikes any of the above stated property of another without the permission of the owner or lessee of said property.”
However, if you’re in a city or suburb almost every city has noise and nuisance ordinances and discharging a firearm would most likely violate those. In Birmingham, for example, noises that ‘annoy, endangers the comfort or health, peace or safety of reasonable persons, or ordinary sensibilities’ are explicitly prohibited.
Alabama Knife Laws
You may not carry a concealed bowie knife or any sort of knife without a pistol permit. The penalty is a fine between $50-$500 and/or up to 6 months in jail.
Except as otherwise provided in this Code, a person who carries concealed about his person a
bowie knife or knife or instrument of like kind or description or a pistol or firearm of any other
kind or an air gun shall, on conviction, be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $500.00, and
may also be imprisoned in the county jail or sentenced to hard labor for the county for not more
than six months.
Pepper Spray is Legal to Carry in Alabama
Pepper spray (also known as capsaicin spray) is a lachrymatory agent (a chemical compound that irritates the eyes to cause a burning sensation, pain, and temporary blindness) used in policing, riot control, crowd control, and self-defense, including defense against dogs and bears. Its inflammatory effects cause the eyes to close, taking away vision.
This temporary blindness allows officers to more easily restrain subjects and permits people in danger to use pepper spray in self-defense for an opportunity to escape. It also causes temporary discomfort and burning of the lungs which causes shortness of breath.
You may use or carry pepper spray anywhere in Alabama except in ‘sensitive’ areas such as a courthouse or airport. It is a crime to use pepper spray offensively.
Section 13A-6-27Use of pepper spray, etc.
(a) The crime of criminal use of a defense spray is committed if the perpetrator uses a defense spray including, but not limited to pepper spray, foam and any other self-defense chemical spray against another person in the commission of a crime or against a law enforcement officer while the law enforcement officer is performing his or her official duties.
(b) Criminal use of a defense spray is a Class C felony.
(Act 98-488, p. 932, §1.)
Personal Alarms are Legal in Alabama
When you think of a self-defense weapon an alarm may not be the first thing that comes to mind but believe me a personal alarm is one of the best self-defense weapons that you can have! This isn’t an ordinary alarm.
A personal alarm is more produces a sound of more than 100 decibels. That’s louder than a jackhammer! Trust me when I say it’s shrill and loud. You wouldn’t want this alarm sounding in your ear. Also, causing a scene by making a lot of noise is a great tool to defend yourself against any surprise attack whether it be a mugger or purse snatcher. You can get a good personal alarm here.
Tactical Pens are Legal in Alabama
A tactical pen is essentially a hidden self-defense tool. What better way to hide a defense weapon other than in plain sight. It can be used for writing, stopping someone by causing a minor wound, breaking things and even breaking glass if you use it well.
The tactical pens were created for people who don’t want to use a gun for self-defense and wish to have some useful things that can potentially become a weapon. You can get the Ape Survival Multi-Use Tactical pen for free here. It’s a screw diver, hexa-wrench, flashlight, and glass breaker, and yes it actually writes. And of course, it’s legal in Alabama .