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While it is the constitutional right of most American citizens to bear arms, state governments view the ownership of a gun as a serious responsibility and place specific regulations on the use and possession of such items.

Under certain circumstances, possession of a gun might subject an individual to criminal charges. Anyone residing in Pelham that might be facing some type of gun-related offense is urged to contact a Pelham gun lawyer. A well-practiced attorney may be able to protect you from the legal and social ramifications of a criminal conviction.

Basic Firearm Laws in Alabama

Alabama is considered an “open carry” state, which could mean residents meeting established age requirements may purchase, possess and visibly carry securely holstered firearms in accordance with the law.

Residents are not typically required to obtain a permit to purchase or possess said items. There are specific circumstances where possession of a firearm may be deemed illegal and subject to penalties.

Circumstances Where Possession Is Illegal

In accordance with State code 13A-11-50, possession of a concealed weapon is considered in violation of the law. The open carry policy is typically not a license to possess firearms at all places and times. There are certain conditions under which doing so is considered in violation of state law. It is strongly recommended that gun owners not familiar with specific regulations consult with a firearm attorney in Pelham or a law enforcement official to receive full confirmation of acceptable practices.

Possession of a Pistol Without a Permit

Permits are required to carry a pistol inside a vehicle or on private or business property now owned by the gun’s possessor unless said individual received the consent from the establishment’s proprietor to do so.

At Athletic Events

Alabama residents are not permitted to possess firearms inside facilities hosting athletic events without a permit or unless they hold some legal or security-related authority inside the venue in question.

Inside Specific Government Buildings

Individuals may not carry firearms into a government building that may include a law enforcement headquarters, jail, courthouse or governmental body meeting facility unless an individual holding some type of legal or security-related authority within said venue offers their consent for the gun owner to do so. An attorney could help a person understand which locations are permissible for carrying a firearm.

Possession of Brass or Steel Ammunition

Possession of this type of firearm ammunition (which is designed to penetrate bullet proof vests) is prohibited under all circumstances.

Individuals Who May Not Be Permitted to Carry Guns

While possession of firearms is a legal right, certain individuals still might not be permitted to do so. In most instances, restrictions are placed on individuals with a documented criminal record or a mental health condition. Specific circumstances may include:

  • Individuals with a history of mental or emotional disorders
  • Persons who have engaged in domestic violence or other crimes deemed violent
  • Those with a history of substance abuse or alcoholism
  • People who are underage (minors)

There might be other circumstances that may preclude certain individuals from owning a firearm. Those who may have any underlying circumstances might first wish to consult with a Pelham attorney before initiating the gun purchase process.

Penalties for Illegal Firearm Possession

A number of gun possession offenses are labeled Class A misdemeanors, which carry jail sentences of up to one year and fines as high as $6,000. Some offenses, which may include using a firearm to commit a crime, might fall under the more serious felony designation. Felonies could result in lengthy prison sentences and stiff fines.

Get Help from a Pelham Gun Attorney

Not all people who face gun possession charges possess criminal intent. Said individuals may not have been aware of specific regulations. A Pelham gun lawyer could review the facts surrounding a case and help build the strongest defense possible.