This week, the Alabama attorney general announced his office took action to remove signs illegally prohibiting firearms at nearly a dozen public facilities in four counties, marking the third time in as many years his office has responded to complaints from the public over such signage in similar public facilities.
On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Attorney General Luther Strange released public statements about formal complaints received by his office concerning possible unlawful prohibitions of firearms by the Alabama Department of Labor, the City of Selma and Dallas County and the City of Birmingham. A press release from Strange indicated that, after reviewing and investigating each complaint, his office “worked with the public entity to achieve compliance with state law.”
- In Blount County, signs were removed from Snead Town Hall, Public Park and Senior Citizens Center as well as from the Blountsville Utility Board.
- In Cullman County, signs were removed from the Baileyton Town Hall.
- In Etowah County, signs were removed from the Rainbow City Recreation Center, Community Center and Library and from the City of Southside Library.
- A complaint was also filed about the Southside Community Center, but the AG’s office determined it was permitted to prohibit firearms because it is not open to the public without reservations.
- In Madison County, gun prohibition signs were removed from the Optimist Recreation Center in Huntsville.
It was not the first time the Alabama AG acted to make public facilities compliant with the law regarding prohibiting the legal possession for firearms by law-abiding citizens in the state.
Last year, action from Strange’s office resulted in the reversal of firearms prohibition at public highway rest areas by the Department of Transportation. In addition, the city of Moulton removed signs prohibiting firearms at Moulton Recreation Center and at H.A. Alexander Park after being advised by the attorney general that the prohibition violated state law.
Also, in July 2015, the AG’s office reviewed a complaint that the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office’s pistol permits included conditions that violated state law, allowing concealed carry except in a courthouse or criminal justice center, a place that serves alcohol or when the carrier is drinking or using illegal drugs. As a result of the investigation, the Sheriff agreed to omit the conditions and include only this language on permits: “License to carry a Revolver or a Pistol Concealed on the person or in a vehicle is hereby granted, except where State law prohibits.”In 2014, the Alabama AG informed county election commissions they do not have authority to prohibit the legal possession of firearms at polling places, following complaint about the establishment illegal gun-free zones in Chambers County.