By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Thursday, June 3, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R)’s office reviewed complaints that have been levied against the cities of Moulton, Madison, Mountain Brook, and Hoover that the four cities may be illegally restricting citizens’ rights to keep and bear arms.
In recent years, the Alabama Legislature has passed gun laws that have either loosened or more firmly established clarified a number of statutes regarding gun rights. This has still left some confusion by some local authorities.
Alabama residents have a legal right to openly carry their firearms with them wherever they go in the State, with very few limitations. Private property owners and businesses may set their own policies; but municipalities are strictly limited in where they can or can not restrict citizens’ gun rights.
AG Strange said in a press release that after reviewing and investigating each complaint, where appropriate, the Attorney General’s Office worked with the public entity to achieve compliance with State law.
Gun rights advocates complained that the City of Moulton failed to comply with Alabama law because it prohibited firearms at the Moulton Recreational Facility/Community Safe Shelter. After the Attorney General reviewed the complaint and communicated with the City, the signs prohibiting firearms were removed. Because the signs are removed, the Attorney General has determined that no further action is required.
Similarly, the Attorney General’s Office reviewed a complaint that the City of Madison failed to comply with Alabama law because it prohibited firearms at the Bradford Creek Greenway. Again after the Attorney General communicated with the City, the signs prohibiting firearms were removed
The Attorney General’s Office also reviewed a complaint that the City of Mountain Brook had illegal signs banning guns at the city parks. After the Attorney General communicated with the City, the unlawful signs prohibiting firearms were removed.
Gun rights advocates reported that the City of Hoover broke the law because it prohibited firearms at the Moss Rock Preserve, Hoover Park and Recreational Facility, Hoover Public Library and Hoover Municipal Center. After the Attorney General’s Office communicated with the City, the signs prohibiting firearms were removed from the Moss Rock Preserve and the Hoover Public Library.
The Attorney General’s office determined that the signs prohibiting weapons may remain at the Hoover P. The AG’s office determined that state law allows prohibition of firearms under such circumstances, thus those signs may remain. The Attorney General’s office determined that the signs may also remain at the Hoover Municipal Center because of the presence of a police station “inside the building.”
Pro-gun rights groups, including BamaCarry, are asking that members of the public report guns prohibited signs in public places to the attorney general’s office for review. AG Strange ordered the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) to take down guns prohibited signs at the State’s highway rest areas last year because they violated Alabama law.