Alabama court strikes down open carry restriction

Alabama Supreme Court

The justices of the Alabama Supreme Court found that two lower courts were in error in the case of a man who was open carrying in 2011. (Photo:

The Alabama Supreme Court last week found a law banning the open carry of a gun onto someone else’s property is unconstitutional.

In a 5-3 decision tendered Friday by the state’s highest court, the majority overturned the conviction by lower courts of Jason Dean Tulley, arrested in 2011 for carrying a pistol on premises not his own after he visited the First Educators Credit Union while open carrying.

Although he removed the gun from the property when told it was not allowed, he was charged with a crime days later.

At first he was found guilty by the Jacksonville Municipal Court and ordered to pay $250 in fines and court costs for violation of state law, but he appealed to the Calhoun Circuit Court, which upheld the decision. The circuit court added a suspended 30-day jail term and six months probation to Tulley, who then pursued his appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court.

Tulley’s legal team argued the Alabama gun laws on open carry, dating back to 1919, were unconstitutionally vague.

The high court agreed, noting specifically the municipal court charging Tulley with the original offense “is unconstitutional on its face in that it cannot be enforced under any circumstances,” in the 35-page decision published Sept. 4.

In reversing the previous judgement on Tulley, the court found the city’s case nonexistent, as state law did not mention criminal penalties.

“[T]he offense of carrying a pistol ‘about his person on premises not his own or under his control’ within the City’s corporate limits did not exist,” the ruling states.

Associate Justice Lyn Stuart, writing in her dissent from the majority, contended the city was within the law, while Justice Greg Shaw argued Tulley had both sufficient notice of the gun free zone and of its penalties.

“This is definitely a victory for gun rights advocates,” said J.D. Lloyd, one of Tulley’s 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.”

Latest Reviews

  • Four Years Later: IWI Tavor SAR Revisited

    Though IWI's X95, released in 2016, usurps the SAR, my Tavor SAR is still part of the family. For those just now coming across this model, how has it stood up over the years? Let's find out.

    Read More
  • Scope Review: Leupold VX-Freedom FireDot Twilight Hunter

    The budget-friendly line of American-made Leupold VX-Freedom riflescopes found a welcome audience last year, but 2020 sees even more interesting additions to the family, with our hands-down favorite being the illuminated-reticle FireDot line.

    Read More
  • Ruger AR-556: An Outstanding Gateway AR

    It should come as no surprise the Ruger name is synonymous with value, and its’ AR-556 looks to fit this mold as an entry-level AR-15 with a reasonable MSRP. So how does the no-frills Ruger AR-556 perform when put to the test? Read on to find out.

    Read More
  • A Look at the Sig P238, A Year Later

    The Sig Sauer P238 was the first .380 ACP BUG to grace my gun safe, a welcomed addition to the 9mm polymers, .38 SPL revolvers, and .45 ACP 1911s. After more than a year's worth of use, where do I stand on the P238? Let's find out.

    Read More