If 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.
I 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?
Under Alabama law, even if there are no criminal convictions and no protection orders in place, the following people cannot have a firearm:
- someone who is of “unsound mind,” which is defined in sub-section f of section 13A-11-72 of the law;
- someone who is addicted to drugs;
- someone who is an “illegally or unlawfully” in the United States or who has a nonimmigrant visa;
- a minor, unless the minor is being supervised by a parent and following the rules explained in sub-section f of section 13A-11-72 of the law; or
- someone who regularly abuses alcohol, known in the law as a “habitual drunkard”.1
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 Safety Planning 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 Advocates and Shelters page.
For additional information on gun laws in Alabama, you can go to the Giffords Law Center website.
Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun under other circumstances. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.
1 Alabama Code § 13A-11-72(a), (b), (c)
I'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 Advocates and Shelters page.