New gun law begins Aug. 1

Published 6:26 pm Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A new law will go into effect Thursday, Aug. 1 that changes firearm laws in the state of Alabama.

Sponsored by Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, the law is designed to make Alabama’s conceal and open-carry laws more clear, and to ensure that law-abiding citizens have access to guns, supporters say.

The following information includes some of the major points of the new firearm laws going into effect:

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•A handgun may be transported in a vehicle without a permit if it is unloaded, placed in a container, and is not accessible by the driver and passengers in the vehicle.

•A handgun may be carried loaded and accessible in a vehicle if the person armed has a concealed carry permit. Sheriffs will perform a background check of all applicants for concealed carry permits utilizing local, state, federal and the NICS systems.

•Sheriffs “shall” issue a concealed carry permit to an applicant within 30 days of application unless the applicant is prohibited from possessing a firearm by law.

•Sheriffs are required to provide written notification of denial to the applicant stating the reason of denial. Applicants have 30 days to appeal the denial to the district court of the county of residence. Revocation of a permit also requires written notice to a permit-holder with reason stated.

•Upon issue of a permit or renewal of an existing permit, the permit holder may request issue of permit to cover up to five years with the cost being the current annual fee multiplied by the number of years requested.

•An employee may have a handgun in their vehicle at work providing they have a valid concealed carry permit and that they secure the handgun in their vehicle while at work. A rifle or shotgun is allowed, provided that they are unloaded, secured in the vehicle and the employee has a valid Alabama hunting license.

•Firearm possession is restricted at certain locations including, but not limited to, sheriff’s offices, police stations, highway patrol stations, corrections facilities, court buildings, city council and county commission chamber buildings, facilities hosting athletic events involving private or public elementary or secondary schools and premises that limit unauthorized people by means of guards, electronic scanning, turnstiles or physical barriers.

•In most circumstances, a person shall not carry a handgun on private property that is not their own or under their control unless they possess a valid concealed carry permit or they have the consent of the owner or legal possessor of the premises.

•It shall be a rebuttable presumption that the mere carrying of a visible handgun, holstered or secured, in a public place, in and of itself, is not a violation of the disorderly conduct statute in the state of Alabama.