Do You Need a Gun Permit to Shoot at a Gun Range in Alabama?

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Shooting ranges in Alabama provide the public with a safe and clean environment to practice target shooting. They are ideal for beginner and established shooters with an intent to brush up their firing skills. Some ranges offer gun rentals.

Others, you must bring your firearm to the range.

Do You Need a Gun Permit to Shoot at a Gun Range in Alabama?

No, a permit is not required to shoot at a gun range in Alabama because it is an ‘open carry’ state. This means that an adult above 18 years can openly carry a gun without a permit. The Alabama State Constitution clarifies that all state residents have fundamental rights to own firearms to defend themselves or the state.

Handgun and accessories

Concealed Carry Permit Requirement in Alabama

If intending to shoot in an Alabama gun range that accommodates handguns, you must have a handgun permit to carry one, whether your firearm is safely concealed or in a vehicle. However, an exception is if you are in your home, land, or fixed workstation.

If you are not prohibited from bearing a firearm, you may carry a pistol even in the absence of a concealed carry permit. But ensure it is unloaded and locked in your range backpack or a gun case and out of reach.

However, these requirements do not apply to military personnel, law enforcement, and other authorized individuals.

Illegal Places to Carry a Gun in Alabama

Alabama has selected places that you may not carry a gun unless you are law enforcement or authorized by the state. These places include:

Man wondering if he needs a gun permit to shoot at a gun range in Alabama
  • Police and highway patrol stations
  • Criminal justice buildings
  • Wildlife management zones
  • Jails, prisons, and detention facilities
  • Mental health facilities
  • School-sponsored events
  • Athletic events that are not gun-related, unless you hold a carry permit or are authorized to carry a weapon.

People Not Allowed to Bear Guns in Alabama

The law in Alabama is apparent on the people that are prohibited from bearing arms. A permit application will be denied if you:

  • are of unsound mind meaning you are mentally incompetent to carry a gun
  • have attempted to commit a crime or have a record of committed offenses such as a domestic violence
  • are not of age, except when target shooting under strict adult supervision or when on your parents’ property
  • have a drug or alcohol addiction
  • are planning to commit harm to someone in a public school

Prohibited Firearms in Alabama

Though an open carry state, there are certain guns that you cannot obtain a permit for because they are forbidden in Alabama. It, therefore, means you cannot use them to shoot targets in a gun range.

Handgun and holster set
  • Sale or possession of a firearm whose identification mark has been tampered with
  • Carrying rifles or shotguns that are disguised as walking canes
  • Possession of brass coated ammunition that can penetrate a bulletproof vest
  • Violation of federal law through possession of shotguns or short-barreled rifles

Getting a Permit in Alabama

All a gun owner needs to do is go to the local Sherriff’s office, fill out an application form, and pay a fee. The Sheriff runs a background check and issues a permit after establishing the applicant is not ineligible to own a gun.

The permits cost $7-$30 a year, and the Sherriff has 30 days to either issue or deny an application. However, the permit can be issued within 15 minutes of application.


Gun owners do not need permits to carry their guns. It means you can shoot targets in a gun range without any problems with the law. But keen to obtain a permit if a handgun is your firearm of choice for protection.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.