In case the story is moved/archived/deleted:
HOOVER, AL---It’s a right you may not realize you have---the right to openly carry a gun. But it's also a freedom that some folks say they're trying to preserve. He’s got a gun in his holster and he's not ashamed to show it.
"Your crime rate is a hell of a lot higher in England. For everything less than murder, every single crime you can think of is higher in the UK: muggings, stabbings, thefts in general. All because people can't defend themselves, in my opinion” said David Smythies.
Smythies grew up in England where guns are against the law. Now a U.S. resident, he's exercising his rights.
"Americans don't know what they could potentially lose if they didn't come out and exercise their right to open carry,” said Smythies.
"It’s a right. The opencarry.org saying is 'A right unexercised is a right lost.’ You might as well exercise your right before it’s gone,” said Timothy Brand, who also wears his gun on his right hip for all to see.
You may not realize it, but in Alabama, it's legal to carry a firearm openly in public. But the second you conceal it, you need a license.
That’s why a group of open carry supporters joined forces Saturday afternoon, hoping to inform the community. Together, they held a blood drive off Lorna Road in Hoover.
"Everybody that carries a gun is not a bad guy. Everybody that carries a gun doesn't have an agenda. It’s just a tool to help protect our rights and protect our safety,” said Jason Jones.
"This is a basic American freedom. This is something our forefathers fought and died for and it's something that's important to preserve, even in modern times,” said Jonathon Norris.
It's a liberty they appreciate, a freedom they're unwilling to lose.
It’s important to note that while you can carry a gun openly in public in Alabama, the moment you step foot in your vehicle; you need a license to carry.
For more information, go to http://www.opencarry.org or http://www.usacarry.com or http://www.opencarry.org/al.html.
Some cases that explain the open carry law in Alabama include:
The State v. Reid, Supreme Court of Alabama, 1 Ala 612; 1840 Ala.
“Under the provision of our constitution, we incline to the opinion that the Legislature cannot inhibit the citizen from bearing arms openly.”
KJ v. State, 690 So.2d 541 (Ala.Cr.App., 1997)
“13A-11-73 does not prohibit carrying an unlicensed pistol if the pistol is unconcealed and the person is on foot…”
Morris v. State, 342 So.2d 417 (1977)
It is to be observed that this law prohibits carrying a pistol (concealed or not) in any vehicle or ‘concealed on or about his person, except….without license therefore…’ It does not prohibit an unconcealed pistol.
Looney v. State, 41 Al. App. 582 (1962)
“Makes an offense for a person who has no license therefore (except on his land, abode or place of business):
1) to carry a pistol in any vehicle; or
2) to carry a pistol concealed on or about his person
Thus, a permit is not required when a person afoot carries an unconcealed pistol.
The only specifically prohibited places can be found in the Code of Alabama:
Possession of firearms by persons participating in, attending, etc., demonstrations at public places