Sweeping New Gun Law to Take Effect August 1st

Alabama gun law - Martinson & Beason, P.C.What You Need to Know

The sweeping new gun law passed by the Alabama Legislature this Spring makes several changes to the way firearm permits are issued, where they can be taken and who can sue over weapon-related incidents. Parts of the law remain unclear and law enforcement agencies across the state are working quickly on enforcement guides.

A few key provisions include:

  1. Alabama moves from a “May Issue” to a “Shall Issue” state (Meaning County Sheriffs have less leeway in determining who receives a concealed carry permit)
  2. Employees who possess a conceal carry permit may keep a loaded gun in their locked vehicle at their work without fear of retribution from their employer
  3. Employers are not liable for damages and injuries that may arise from incidents where a firearm was brought onto their property

The new law was supported by the District Attorneys Association and the Alabama Sheriff’s Association but opposed by the Business Council of Alabama. Law enforcement officials worked diligently to inform their officers on implementation of the law and some county officials have even scheduled public information meetings for the people they serve to ask questions and get information.

While the new gun law allows citizens who obtain a conceal carry permit to keep a loaded weapon in their car in many new places including their work, they should not necessarily expect to be allowed to bring the weapon inside. Most government buildings and other public places like malls and shopping centers explicitly prohibit the public from bringing a weapon indoors.

This particular facet of the law remains unclear, however, as AL.com reports that an official in the Madison County Sheriff’s office has said  “Madison County’s reading of the law is that the law does allow carrying guns inside public places where they are not already banned ‘unless an agent of the business asks you not to.’”

Recent shootings in public places have left states divided on how to best combat the rise in gun violence. Some states, such as Colorado, have moved to ban high capacity magazines while other states, like Mississippi and North Carolina, have relaxed concealed carry regulations.

Read the full bill here.