Open carry of guns at polling locations: What voters need to know

Open carry of guns at polling locations

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - We are just two weeks away from the 2020 US Presidential Election! As we close in on the big day, we’re answering your frequently asked questions about voting.

Today, what are the rules on guns at polling places?

According to Madison County Probate Judge Frank Barger, the answer is straightforward. Alabama is an open-carry state but that doesn’t mean you can take a gun to any polling location. If the location is on private property or if there’s a policy in place prohibiting weapons, you simply can’t bring it with you.

Barger says there will be a sign located outside of each polling location if those policies are in effect.

“The majority of our polling locations operate within church facilities and many of those have a no-gun policy in place,” Barger said. “If so, we provide signage to them that says it’s the policy of this facility that no weapons are allowed inside.”

It’s important to note that Madison County has never in the past had any issue related to Alabama’s open-carry law at a polling location. Barger does not anticipate any trouble this year either.

“I will tell you we provide specific training to our election workers about the process," Barger said. "If there is a concern, how to address that. How to contact law enforcement. But again, I want to stress we haven’t had any issue in the past, we have no communication or thought that we are going to see anything different in this election.”

The basic rule is to treat this like any other day. If there’s a sign posted disallowing guns, leave yours at home or lock it up safely in your car while you vote.

Copyright 2020 WAFF. All rights reserved.