Alabama Court Shoots Down Open Carry Ban

Alabama Court Shoots Down Open Carry Ban

Alabama Court Shoots Down Open Carry Ban

The Alabama Supreme Court on Friday ruled a state law that banned the open carry of a gun on someone else's property is unconstitutional.

Friday's ruling by the court came in an appeal by Jason Dean Tulley, 38, of his Jacksonville city court conviction for openly carrying a pistol on his hip while inside the First Educators Credit Union on March 31, 2011.

An off-duty police officer working security at the credit union told Tulley to leave the credit union and put the gun in his car. Tulley, who at the time also had a conceal carry permit, argued his rights but eventually complied. Tulley was charged days later. 

The high state court's ruling overturns Tulley's conviction on the charge.

"This is definitely a victory for gun rights advocates," said J.D. Lloyd, one of Tulley's appellate lawyers. "More importantly, it's a victory for folks who believe in Due Process and don't want to see the Legislature passing vague criminal statutes."

But what about business owners who don't want people carrying guns inside their businesses?

"I believe businesses still have options available to limit people bringing firearms onto their property, but open carry advocates shouldn't fear criminal prosecution under 13A-11-52 going forward," Lloyd said.

Tulley was prosecuted in the City of Jacksonville municipal court for violating a state law – 13A-11-52 - that prohibited "carrying a pistol on premises not one's own or under his control," court records show.

Tulley appealed his conviction to the Circuit Court of Calhoun County and lost. The court of criminal appeals upheld the conviction. But on Friday the Alabama Supreme Court in a 5-3 decision ruled that the law was unconstitutional and unenforceable.


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