If you live in Alabama in the US and love shooting, be it as a sport or for the game, you might wonder if it is okay to shoot or hunt wild animals in your backyard, especially if you have a large one.
The reality is that no laws specifically stipulate if it is right or wrong to shoot in your backyard in Alabama. Still, the law states designated places like police stations and mental homes where people can’t carry arms to say nothing of shooting them.
Today, we will examine some of Alabama’s gun laws and how they affect you.
Alabama Open Carry Gun Laws
Alabama is probably the US state with one of the most relaxed open-carry gun laws. The laws are so lenient that it allows the following:
1. It is legal for an adult to carry a weapon in the open with a permit in Alabama.
2. Anyone who has reached the legal age (which is 18 years) can purchase a handgun in Alabama in as much they do not belong to the list of individuals prohibited (we will talk about it later)
3. Alabama enforced a law that does not inhibit the carrying of a handgun safely in a holster.
4. In Alabama, an individual legally carrying a gun is not required by law to notify or disclose to an officer that they are carrying a concealed weapon.
5. Carrying a gun in areas with “no weapons allowed” signs is not considered a crime.
6. In the state of Alabama, it is not a requirement that background checks be conducted on individuals who have the intention of purchasing a handgun. It is, however, important that the original copy of the receipt is kept handy if you need to prove gun ownership.
7. Registering a handgun after purchasing it in Alabama is also not required. Secondly, this state has no waiting period between purchasing and possessing firearms.
Some Restrictions About Carrying Guns In Alabama
While we have already shown how lenient the state of Alabama is regarding gun carrying, there are a number of other laws or restrictions in place regarding who can carry guns and to what places. Here are some of those restrictions:
1. To openly carry a gun in Alabama, the weapon must be safely secured in a holster which the individual can wear on their ankle, shoulder, inside the waist, outside the waist, on the middle back, drop leg, or the small of the back.
2. It is illegal for a minor in Alabama to carry a gun, except if the minor is on the property of their parents. They can only practice shooting under the supervision of an adult who can legally possess and use a gun.
3. Any individual currently suffering from an addiction to any drug or alcohol is prohibited from owning or using a gun in Alabama. Anybody who takes any mind-altering substance that can lead to temperament and poor judgment and hence is unpredictable is restricted from owning, carrying, and using guns.
4. Any person experiencing a mental problem or not of sound mind is prohibited from carrying guns. An individual who is insane or mentally incompetent individual admitted to a psychiatric hospital is not permitted to carry a gun.
5. If a person has a history of a violent crime or even just attempting a violent crime, including domestic abuse, such a person is prohibited from having guns in Alabama.
Places Where One Can’t Openly Carry Gun In Alabama
Even though the state of Alabama has an open-carrying gun law, there are places where there are restrictions to this law, including:
1. In all police stations, individuals cannot carry gun-be it the highway patrol stations, sheriff stations, or any police station.
2. Any public demonstration, rallies, or gatherings protected by the right to assembly.
3. In all detention facilities, including jails, prisons, reform schools, juvenile detention facilities, Halfway houses, community corrections facilities, and other criminal detention facilities.
4. Wildlife conservation areas.
5. Psychiatric and mental homes.
6. Public buildings and locations where the county or city council convenes include criminal justice buildings and courthouses.
7. Inside any facility or building which does not have unlimited access to the public due to security measures during its operating hours.
8. Professional sports events which are not directly related to guns. One can only carry a gun in such events if a person in authority gives permission or if one has a concealed carry permit.
Can You Shoot In Your Backyard In Alabama?
The Alabama Firearms Code does not categorically state whether opening fire in your backyard is okay. It, however, stipulates that a resident landowner can hunt on their land without purchasing a hunting license. That means that a landowner can legally shoot a gun in their backyard as much as it is for hunting games.
An Alabama resident landowner with proof of residency or an Alabama Driver’s License, he and his immediate family may hunt on the land without purchasing a hunting license, provided that they are RESIDENTS of Alabama. The landowner’s immediate family is defined as their spouse, children, parents, brothers, and sisters (if each of these people is an Alabama resident)
Chapter 220-2-.139 of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Administrative Code states that one shall “not hunt or attempt to hunt within 100 yards of any dwelling belonging to another”. That means that while you can hunt in your backyard, you must only infringe within 100 yards of your neighbor’s land with their permission.
Another law to keep in mind while shooting on your land is that you may not hunt or discharge a firearm within 50 yards of the right-of-way of any public road, highway, or railroad with a centerfire rifle, a shotgun using slugs or shot larger than number four (4) shot or a muzzle-loading rifle .40 caliber or more significant. This law which affects deer hunters a lot means that you cannot shoot, even from your land or backyard, a game animal within the 50-yard restricted area with a weapon or shot.
Hunting In Alabama
Many people define hunting as killing wild animals, but this definition is not all-inclusive. You must understand what constitutes hunting so that you can side with the law as you go for game animals.
Hunting includes shooting, pursuing, killing, trapping, and capturing wild animals and birds. Hunting also includes all lesser acts, like disturbing, worrying, setting, placing, drawing, or using any device used to take wild animals and birds, whether they result in taking or not, or even assisting an individual doing any of this.
In Alabama, you can hunt wild animals and birds legally. Still, it is against the law to hunt, capture, injure, or kill any wild game on another person’s land except if one has the landowner’s written permission or the person in control of such land or the landowner’s accompanies you or is their a guest.
There are Legal hunting hours for Alabama residents, which is the time range during the open season when hunting game birds and game animals are legal. This time usually begins 30 minutes before the official sunrise time. It lasts until 30 minutes after official sunset time and is mainly for hunting migratory game birds (even though some animals have specific hunting time restrictions). Game animals may be hunted in the open season during daylight hours only-some of they have specific regulations too.
Game Animals In Alabama
Not all wild animals in Alabama and even in all parts of the world are considered game animals and can be hunted. Some animals are not game animals, and so must never be hunted. These are wild animals that you can hunt legally in Alabama:
- Eastern cottontail rabbit
- Swamp rabbit
- Mountain lion (cougar),
- Red wolf,
- Wild hog
You can legally hunt these animals in Alabama.
The birds below, which are both resident and migratory, are considered game birds in Alabama:
- Wild turkey
- Ruffed grouse
- Wild duck
- Wild goose
- Clapper rail
- King rail
- Virginia rail
- White twinged dove
- Mourning dove
- Sandhill crane
If you love hunting, then you must love shooting. Alabama is one of the states in the US whose gun-carrying laws are flexible. Their Firearms laws did not categorically address the question of shooting from your backyard in Alabama.
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However, if you are a resident landowner, you and your immediate family can hunt games on your land as much as you are correctly hunting suitable animals and birds.
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