Counties do not have the authority to prohibit voters from carrying firearms at all polling place, Attorney General Luther Strange said in an opinion issued Monday. The issue was raised during primary elections in June as voters carrying holstered guns were stopped by law enforcement officers at the doors of some polling places across the state. Shelby County officials reported three such encounters, and though no arrests were made, deputies did not allow voters visibly carrying weapons to take them into polling places.
In Chambers County, officials met after complaints from voters and, while the polls were still open, decided they were not legally able to prohibit firearms at the polls and took down signs forbidding them.
The Chambers County Commission, though, wanted clarity on the matter and asked Alabamas Attorney General Luther Strange for an opinion on the matter.
A little more than a month later, and a week before voters will head back to the polls for runoff elections, Strange said that although carrying weapons into places such as courthouses is still prohibited, counties cannot issue a blanket ban keeping voters from carrying at all polling stations.