I just posted this at OCDC but thought I would share here also. I thought I would send a letter to my Sheriff and point out to him the contradictions between my CPL and the law. I faxed him the letter below along with a hard copy of the Alabama Tri-fold and State of Alabama Firearms and Weapons Laws (found at Alabama Gun Law Information).
Good afternoon, my name is Shaun Reinert and I wanted to contact you in regards to the legality of open carry of a pistol in Alabama. I am relatively new concealed pistol license (CPL) holder in Elmore County. Since receiving my permit I have joined several internet forums for people with CPL’s in order to gain knowledge about concealed carry gear, situational awareness and to gather other information that will help me to become a safer and more responsible permit holder. During some of my investigation I have come across quite a bit of information that seems to indicate that open carry of a pistol is legal in the State of Alabama. I have attached two (2) documents that were put together by some folks at Alabama Gun Law Information. Would you be open to reviewing these documents and consider allowing persons within the County to carry openly without risk of arrest, detainment or possible revocation of their CPL? I’d also like to suggest a visit to the website listed above for additional information on the legality of open carry in Alabama.
Restriction #1 on my CPL states that the permit does not permit me to carrying openly, however after reviewing the attached documents it appears that it is completely within my rights to carry openly without a permit of any kind (as long as I am afoot and not in a vehicle) per Alabama Statute 13A-11-73.
Restriction #4 states that I am not allowed to carry my pistol in any place that serves alcohol. I realize that common sense would dictate that carrying while consuming alcohol is terribly irresponsible and should be prohibited. However, would you consider it ok to carry in a restaurant that sells alcohol as long as I was not consuming?
Restriction #5 restricts the carry of my pistol within government buildings, airport terminals, etc. However the Alabama Statute 13A-11-59(b) only restricts concealed carry while attending any demonstration being held at a public place. Also, the Statute 13A-11-72(c) & (d) specifically allows a citizen to carry a pistol on the premises of a public school as long as there is no intent to bodily harm.
In addition, the Alabama Statute 11-45-1.1 reserves the entire subject matter of handguns to the State Legislature, thereby voiding any and all restrictions on the CPL that are not in concert with the Alabama Statutes.
Please do not misunderstand my intentions. They are not to question or undermine your authority, but only to bring to your attention what appear to be contradictions between the law and the restrictions on my CPL. As a matter of preference I do not necessarily want to openly carry my pistol, but would like to have the option available to me, without the threat of arrest, detainment or revocation of my CPL, as it appears to be legal. Also, there is a large community of CPL holders across the State of Alabama, many of them here in Elmore County, that would also like to have this option. I know there is a concern about “man with a gun” calls and the difficulty in differentiating between bad guys and good guys, however there is a common saying I’m sure you have heard, “a right not exercised, is a right lost”.
Any thoughts or opinions you may have on this matter are greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this fax and review the attached information. I can be reached at the telephone number listed above or at my e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well, 5 minutes after I sent the fax, my phone rang and it was Sheriff Franklin!! He was very friendly and we had a fantastic conversation. He said he is all for exercising of our rights, including the right to open carry. He stated that everything I stated in my fax was true and he agreed fully. His only issue was what I stated in my next to last paragraph regarding "man with a gun" calls. He said his deputies and other city police don't know if the person with firearm is a GG or BG. Their protocol is to approach and gather information "What's goin' on?" "How are you?" etc. If everything goes well then no problem. They have been instructed, and understandably so, that on the first indication that a confrontation may occur, then the situation is escalated accordingly. This makes me fell better about maybe one day getting a wild hair and choosing to open carry. He also stated that I would be hard pressed to find a Sheriff in Alabama that did not share his views on this matter. He also stated that my letter and the attached information was very informative and they he was to keep it and reference it if he ran into any issues or questions regarding OC.