En Español
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or (TTY) 1-800-787-3224

Know the Laws: Alabama

UPDATED July 28, 2016

View All

Below is information about state gun laws in Alabama.  A restraining order or criminal conviction may make it illegal for an abuser to have a gun.  However, in addition to these state-specific laws, there are also federal gun laws that could apply. To fully understand all of the legal protections available, it is important that you also read the Federal Gun Laws pages.

Please consider getting in touch with a domestic violence advocate in your community for more information on gun laws in your area. To find help, please go to the AL State and Local Programs page.

Guns and Criminal Convictions

back to topIf the abuser has been convicted of a crime, can s/he keep or buy a gun?

Alabama state law says that anyone who has been convicted in Alabama or in another state of committing or attempting to the following crimes cannot own, possess, or have in his/her control a firearm:

  • a crime of violence,* which is defined as:
    • murder,
    • manslaughter,
    • rape,
    • mayhem,
    • assault (with intent to rob, ravish, or murder),
    • robbery,
    • burglary,
    • kidnapping, and
    • any Class A felony or any Class B felony that has as an element serious physical injury, the distribution or manufacture of a controlled substance, or is of a sexual nature involving a child under the age of 12;**
  • a misdemeanor offense of domestic violence;* or
  • one of 51 violent offenses listed in the law, including stalking, domestic violence, domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation, and more.*** (Note: You can read the whole list of 51 crimes on our AL Statutes page, sub-section 15 of section 12-25-32).

Federal laws, which apply to all states and territories, also restrict a person's right to have a gun under certain circumstances.  Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.

* Alabama Code § 13A-11-72(a)
** Alabama Code § 13A-11-70(2)
*** Alabama Code §§ 13A-11-72(a); 12-25-32(15)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topHow can I find out if the abuser has been convicted of a crime?

Misdemeanor and felony records are open to the public, but they are not always easy to access. If you know the exact courthouse where the abuser may have been convicted, you can go to the courthouse and ask the clerk of court for access to those records. You can find contact information for courthouses on our AL Courthouse Locations page.

Criminal records are also kept in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). However, no one other than law enforcement officials and licensed firearm sellers are allowed to search the NICS. Your local police department may be willing to search NICS for you if you ask, but they are not required to do so.

To read more about the NICS, please see the question, What will happen if the abuser tries to purchase a gun?

Did you find this information helpful?

WomensLaw.org would like to thank the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence for their help in putting together the original version of this material.

back to top