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Know the Laws: Alabama

UPDATED July 28, 2016

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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.

More Information and Where to Get Help

back to topIf the abuser's gun(s) is taken away, what will happen to it?

If a person is arrested in Alabama for having a gun when the Alabama law says that s/he is not allowed to have a gun, it is the responsibility of the sheriff or police officer making the arrest to seize (take away) the person's gun.  The gun will then be delivered to either the county sheriff or court clerk of stolen property. The district attorney in the county where the gun(s) was taken away can then file to have the gun destroyed.

To read more about the exact procedures, go to our AL Statutes page to read section 13A-11-84(b) of the Alabama Code.

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back to topI do not have a protection from abuse order against the abuser, and s/he has never been convicted of a crime. Can s/he have a gun?

It depends.  Under Alabama law, the following people cannot have a firearm in their possession or control:

If any of these apply to your situation, please talk to someone in your area about how this law is being enforced.  The sheriff department in your county may be able to give you more information. You can find contact information for your local sheriff on our AL Sheriff Departments page.

If none of these situations apply to you, you can still make a plan for your safety.  See our Staying Safe page for more information. You can also contact your local domestic violence program for additional help.  You may want to talk to them about whether leaving the area - either long term or for a little while - might help improve your safety.  See our AL State and Local Programs page.

For additional information on gun laws in Alabama, you can go to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence website.

* Alabama Code § 13A-11-72(a),(b)

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back to topI've read through all of this information, and I am still confused. What can I do?

Trying to understand both federal and state law can be confusing. There are people who can help you better understand the law and your rights under the law.

  • You can contact the National Center on Protection Orders & Full Faith and Credit to get more information about the federal firearm law and how it applies to you at 1-800-903-0111 x 2.
  • You can write to our Email Hotline.
  • You can contact a local domestic violence organization in your area - see our AL State and Local Programs page.

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.

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