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Pistol Permits

Sample Permit

Residents of Etowah County can apply for a pistol permit online by clicking the link below or by applying in-person where we have a computer/kiosk set up in the lobby to submit your application at the Etowah County Sheriff's Office at 827 Forrest Ave Gadsden, AL 35901.

Click here to apply


Online applicants will and submit information for a background check. Applicants will receive an email, text message or automated phone call if accepted or denied within 30 days of applying. When permit is ready, applicants will be notified. The new permit can be picked up at the Sheriff's Office or mailed to the applicant. Debit/credit cards may be used to pay all applicable fees. The service fee can be bypassed if applicant pays cash or check in-person at the Sheriff's Office Monday-Friday, 8:00am - 4:00pm. 

1. Who may obtain a pistol permit? Alabama State Code 13A-11-70 et., seq. (1975) provides that the Sheriff of a county may issue a qualified license to a person residing in the county, and is a suitable person to be licensed.

There are many people who cannot obtain a pistol license. Most of these are prohibited because of certain State and Federal Laws. All the Laws contained in this question are contained in the Alabama State Code and in the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997. The people who cannot obtain a pistol license are as follows:

2. Who MAY NOT obtain a pistol permit?

    • A person who has been convicted of committing or attempting to commit a crime of violence;***
    • A person who is a drug addict, habitual drunkard or be of unsound mind
    • A person who is a fugitive from justice;
    • A person convicted of a felony or any degree of theft;
    • A person discharged from the armed forces under dishonorable conditions;
    • A person who has been adjudged by a court as mentally incompetent;
    • A citizen of the United States who has renounced his citizenship;
    • A person convicted of the Family Violence Act, even though the charge may be a misdemeanor;
    • A person illegally or unlawfully in the United States;
    • A person who has been convicted of an offense involving firearms;
    • A person who has been convicted of an offense involving explosives;
    • A person who is not deemed suitable or proper by the Sheriff's Office.

***Under Alabama law, a person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence and a person who is subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking or threatening an intimate partner or child is forbidden to possess a pistol. A crime of violence as defined by Alabama law includes any of the following crimes or an attempt to commit any of them: murder, manslaughter, rape, mayhem, assault with intent to commit robbery, assault with intent to ravish, assault with intent to murder, robbery burglary, kidnapping and larceny.

3. What are the age requirements to obtain a pistol permit?
It is the policy that a license will not be issued to anyone under the age of 18.

4. May a pistol permit be revoked?
Yes, Title 13A-11-75 of the State Law provides that the Sheriff may revoke a license.

5. Is the license valid in other counties?
Yes, Title 13A-11-75 of the State Law says the license is valid within all the counties of the State of Alabama.

6. How can a pistol permit be renewed?

Permits can be renewed ONLY if current pistol permit IS NOT expired. If your permit has already expired, click the link below to create an account and apply for new permit.

To Renew:

Option 1: Mail or bring the renewal card or pistol license, along with $20.00, to the Etowah County Sheriff's Office.
*Etowah County Sheriff's Office, 827 Forrest Avenue, Gadsden, Alabama 35901

Option 2: Click here to renew permit online:


7. What is the cost of a pistol permit?
$20.00 per year, up to five years

 A service fee is charged only if permits are paid by credit or debit.


8. Will I be investigated if I make an application to the Etowah County Sheriff's Department for a pistol permit?

  1. We will check to see if you have a previous arrest record.
  2. We will make any other investigation as necessary.

Pistol Permits - Reciprocity
In 2001, the State of Alabama passed legislation recognizing handgun licenses issued by other states provided that state would recognize Alabama's pistol license. This allows residents of the State of Alabama who have a valid pistol permit to carry their weapon in any of these states, and also authorizes persons from these states to carry a pistol in Alabama.

Office Hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday