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Thread: I don't think that 'or' means what he thinks

  1. #1
    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    First post!

    While exchanging emails with the owner of a local range, he replied to a statement I had made about OC by saying that it is illegal in Alabama. When I questioned this, he pointed out to me a passage in the code that says:

    Section 13A-11-73
    License to carry pistol in vehicle or concealed on person - Required. No person shall carry a pistol in any vehicle or concealed on or about his person, except on his land, in his own abode or fixed place of business, without a license therefor as hereinafter provided.

    He then proceeded to tell me that the 'or' he had highlighted prohibited OC in the state of Alabama. That this was what he had been taught as a LEO, and that this was the law that is currently enforced.

    I have sent him a reply explaining, politely, that that's not how English works and also referencing him to the AAG opinion c. 1984 on the subject. While I await his response, I just want to see whether the good people of OCDO think this argument holds water.

    Edit: Added a much needed space.

    Thanks!
    -Kyle
    There was a time that the pieces fit, but I watched them fall away, mildewed and smoldering, strangled by our coveting. I've done the math enough to know the dangers of our second guessing. Doomed to crumble, unless we grow and strengthen our communication. -Tool, "Schism"

  2. #2
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    mcdonalk wrote:
    First post!

    While exchanging emails with the owner of a local range, he replied to a statement I had made about OC by saying that it is illegal in Alabama. When I questioned this, he pointed out to me a passage in the code that says:

    Section 13A-11-73
    License to carry pistol in vehicle or concealed on person - Required. No person shall carry a pistol in any vehicle or concealed on or about his person, except on his land, in his own abode or fixed place of business, without a license therefor as hereinafter provided.

    He then proceeded to tell me that the 'or' he had highlighted prohibited OC in the state of Alabama. That this was what he had been taught as a LEO, and that this was the law that is currently enforced.

    I have sent him a reply explaining, politely, that that's not how English works and also referencing him to the AAG opinion c. 1984 on the subject. While I await his response, I just want to see whether the good people of OCDO think this argument holds water.

    Edit: Added a much needed space.

    Thanks!
    -Kyle
    Hmm being a Canuck I don't know very much about Alabama Code but it looks like this guy unfortunately has no idea what he is talking about.

    This is what I would do anyway:

    Send his email back to him like this:

    Section 13A-11-73 License to carry pistol in vehicle or concealed on person - Required. No person shall carry a pistol in any vehicle or concealed onor about his person, except on his land, in his own abode or fixed place of business, without a license therefor as hereinafter provided.

    If I were you I would also avoid his range and him if I could because if he thinks that or means that OC is illegal then who knows how he will act if you come there while OC.

    I would strongly suggest to find another range if you can't educate him on this matter but this is only my 2 cents worth, being a Canuck that would make it approximately 1.75 US cents. =oP

    Good luck and let us know how it turned out in the end.

  3. #3
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    The language is ambiguous. It could mean:

    concealed on his person

    -or-

    about his person (in any other way)

    OR it could mean

    concealed on his person

    -or-

    concealed about his person.

    Either way, it cannot prohibit OC because the AL Supreme Court has interpreted the law as not being able to prohibit OC. So, even if the LEO's interpretation is the first, the phrase has the effective reading of:

    concealed on his person

    -or-

    about his person (in any other way other than openly).


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    Regular Member Anubis's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum, mcdonalk, you are correct.

    The language is clear. The owner would have been correct if the law stated "in a vehicle or concealed or about his person"; the "ors" would be a parallel structure.

    But "concealed on or about his person" means precisely "concealed on his person or concealed about his person".


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    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone. That's what I thought. If he won't take the word of the AG then you can bet he won't be getting my $$$.

    -Kyle
    There was a time that the pieces fit, but I watched them fall away, mildewed and smoldering, strangled by our coveting. I've done the math enough to know the dangers of our second guessing. Doomed to crumble, unless we grow and strengthen our communication. -Tool, "Schism"

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    It is pretty clear, especially since the law is titled "License to carry pistol in vehicle or concealed on person - Required."

    Although I can see how the text can cause confusion. Chalk it up to semantics.
    The law has been consistently interpreted to refer to concealed carry only.

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    The way I understand it is; if the pistol is concealed, you need a concealed carry permit. Concealed means it's in a holster under your clothing or inside a vehicle which conceals it. I also understand that the state law says that you can carry open on any public thoroughfare, on your own land or on land that you have permission to be on, or in your business. Where the problem with the concealed carry permit comes into play is once you get inside your vehicle off the public thoroughfare, then it becomes concealed and the permit goes into effect at that time. Then if you are say walking down the road in OC mode and decide to go into someone's place of business, the state law does not grant you to carry open in there on their property, so you need to conceal the firearm and have a concealed carry permit for it. I could be wrong on some of this, but that's the way I interpret it for myself.

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    Part of the language includes " Fixed place of business " Can anyone explain this?

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    If your place of business is your truck, it is not a fixed place, and you will need a permit to carry. If you have an office or a storefront, it is a fixed place of business, and you can carry your pistol any way you want.

  10. #10
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    sentance diagramming fail. Once again, ignorance (a lack of education on the structure of the English language) breeds contempt.
    It takes a village to raise an idiot.

  11. #11
    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    Kirbinator wrote:
    sentance diagramming fail. Once again, ignorance (a lack of education on the structure of the English language) breeds contempt.
    Speaking of contempt... I just wanted to let y'all know that he never responded to my rebuttal. Oh, well.
    There was a time that the pieces fit, but I watched them fall away, mildewed and smoldering, strangled by our coveting. I've done the math enough to know the dangers of our second guessing. Doomed to crumble, unless we grow and strengthen our communication. -Tool, "Schism"

  12. #12
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    Contact him and ask him again. Better yet, give him the URL of this site and ask him to debate the subject with us. There are some very knowledgeable folks here who can school him on the law.

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