It appears that some bureaucrat in the Yellowhammer State has decided to post the state’s rest stops with signs that are toxic to the Second Amendment, not to mention Alabama law. The signs say “No weapons beyond this point.” According to Skidmark at opencarry.org, rest stops aren’t on the state’s list of prohibited places for possessing weapons. Alabama’s pre-emption law was strengthened in 2013 as part of a package of Second Amendment friendly reforms . . .
Arizona, now known as one of the states most respectful of the RKBA had a similar problem with illegal signage at rest stops in the 1990’s. It took activism by Arizona gun owners to have them removed. An open carry picnic at the Sacaton rest stop on I-10 near Tucson was organized in 1998. Rick Destephens, who was there, writes about it:
Have you noticed that there are no longer any signs at Arizona rest stops that read, “Keep all weapons in your vehicle”? That was Brassroots and S.A.F.E. combine effort back in 1998. We staged a forty-man protest at the Sacaton rest stop and five TV cameras showed up. We then got three hours of time on Bob Mohan’s show on KFYI. That resulted in Hull’s, ADOT’s and DPS’s phones melting down for two weeks. The signs came down later that month.
The picture below is reported to have been on the rest stop east of Opelika off I-85.
Alabama law specifically forbids the “Possession of firearms by persons participating in, attending, etc., demonstrations at public places.” So am Arizona-style picnic at an Alabama rest stop would have to be careful not to fall under this statute, or be prepared to test the law in court.
I sent an email to [email protected] on January 9th, 2014, Here are the questions that I asked:
1. Were the signs put up recently?
2. Were the signs authorized, and if so, by who or what agency?
3. What legal authority exists for putting up the signs?
I haven’t received a reply from the Alabama Department of Transportation yet. Perhaps residents of Alabama would have better luck. If you obtain answers to the above questions, please let us know in the comments.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
From what I understand the signs at rest stops were put up by the ALDPS.
AGR is working on this and a number of other places that have put up signs.