Many Alabama residents are proud gun owners. In recent years, there has been great debate in the state and across the nation about the legality of carrying a concealed weapon. Specifically, that has centered on whether a person should need a permit to do so.
In the past, Alabama law required a person to have a permit to carry a concealed weapon or have one in their vehicle. Beginning this year, that law has changed.
Despite this change, there are still fundamental requirements for people to be allowed to exercise this right. Those who are accused of carrying a weapon while not meeting the basic criteria can be arrested and charged. It is essential to understand this and to have help if an arrest is made.
Key points about the new permitless carry law
The new law went into effect on Jan. 1. With it, people who wish to carry a weapon no longer needed a permit to do so.
Some might think they can now purchase a weapon and carry it without a permit. That is not the case.
There are still rules for who can carry a weapon, just as there were before. The primary difference is that a permit is not needed for those who meet the basic requirements. The person must be at least 18 and not have been previously convicted of a violent crime. That includes a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence.
Those who have been diagnosed as mentally deficient cannot carry a weapon. And people who have a protective order against them cannot legally carry a weapon. The person cannot brandish the weapon or show it in a threatening manner. If they do, they can be charged with disorderly conduct.
There are also locations where people cannot carry a weapon under any circumstances. It is a violation of federal law if a person has a weapon at a federal courthouse or a military installation. It is also a violation of state law to carry a weapon in a courthouse, in a law enforcement building, in a prison, in a psychiatric facility and in other places where treatment and care are given.
People cannot carry a firearm on private property unless the owner is aware of it and gives approval. The weapon would not facilitate a charge, but a complaint about it would be a trespassing charge.
Those facing weapons charges should think about having experienced help
Although the law has changed, that does not mean everyone can have a concealed weapon. Based on the limitations of the law, there is always a chance that someone will be accused of carrying a weapon without a permit and face charges for it.
Understanding who is and who is not allowed to carry a concealed weapon is part of the process. If a person is arrested amid allegations of violating the law, they can still face charges and the penalties associated with a conviction. As soon as the arrest is made, it is imperative to think about potential avenues of defense.
Contacting local legal professionals who are approachable, caring and aggressive in helping their clients to fight the charges is integral when crafting a comprehensive criminal defense. This is especially important with the new permitless carry laws implemented for 2023. Calling for help is key when reducing the charges or getting an acquittal.