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By Dean Weingarten

Illegal 'No Weapons' Signs At Rest Stops In Alabama

Illegal ‘No Weapons’ Signs At Rest Stops In Alabama

Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten

Arizona - -(Ammoland.com)-  It appears that some bureaucrat in Alabama has decided to post Alabamans’ rest stops with signs that are toxic to the second amendment and Alabama law.  As reported on opencarry.org, the signs say “No weapons beyond this point”.

It’s the AL rest stop eastbound I-10 @ AL/ MS line, about 15 miles west of Mobile.

According to Skidmark at opencarry.org, rest stops are not listed as prohibited places for possessing weapons.

Alabama’s preemption 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 second amendment rights, had a similar problem with illegal signage of rest stops in the 1990′s.

It took activism by Arizona gun owners to have the signs 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.

ALabama rest stop east of Opelika off I-85

ALabama rest stop east of Opelika off I-85 , Picture courtesy of Backwoods Engineer at BackwoodsEngineer.com

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 a 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.

It is clear that Alabama does not want the exercise of the first and second amendments to occur at the same time.   This is a violation of constitutional rights, and may be an opportunity for further reform.     The open carry of firearms is clearly a form of political speech.

I sent an email to aldotinfo@dot.state.al.us 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 have not received a reply from the Alabama Department of Transportation.   Perhaps residents of Alabama would have better luck.   If you obtain answers to the above questions, I would like to know.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973.  He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 23 User comments to “Illegal ‘No Weapons’ Signs At Rest Stops In Alabama”

    1. oldgringo on January 23, 2014 at 5:04 AM said:

      Oh this is just great…Another unenforceable liberal goody good rule sign to twarth would be criminals from disturbing my toilet needs!

    2. It’s my understanding that No Weapons signs in Alabama only applies to open carry. CCW is still permitted, even in posted areas. This is what our Sheriff has stated numerous times at various town hall type meetings and in press.

    3. Resistance is duty!

    4. Yenta of Sipsey Street on January 23, 2014 at 7:42 AM said:

      Don’t be silly. No one in AL, FL, GA, MS, LA, or TX really pays attention to these signs. Criminals won’t, so the decent folk, in solidarity with the bad guys don’t either. The underlying legal principle is “Better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6.”

      Sic semper tyrannis.

    5. Everybody knows that goblins don’t hang out at rest stops. And they definitely don’t need to be twarthed.

    6. Non-compliance may lead to safe passage, however if “Smokey” stops you, hopefully LEO understands the nuance of “state preemption”. Do you feel lucky?

    7. John Harrold on January 23, 2014 at 10:46 AM said:

      These signs are very vague, so by my interpretation, one must strip down naked before entering the rest stop. There isn’t an item or piece of clothing that can not be used as a weapon. People trained in any form of hand to hand combat must also stay out as they are considered a lethal weapon.

    8. john carr on January 23, 2014 at 4:05 PM said:

      The sign basically says, criminals beyond this point it is safe for you to rob whoever you wish. From now on I will just piss in the parking lot.

    9. JT Turner on January 23, 2014 at 4:15 PM said:

      What should happen here is that the bureaucrat who decided to use Alabama taxpayer money to purchase and install signs should be forced to reimburse the state for the cost of the signs and the labor to put them up and take them down. Now if this caught hold it would give these a******s pause to rethink their little protests.

    10. Just another anti-American worthless piece of garbage that I will ignore as I carry my weapon with me so I don’t become a victim of someone elses stupidity.

    11. The Alabama Dept. of Transportation controls all the Alabama rest stops. John R. Cooper became Alabama’s Transportation Director effective January 17, 2011, with the beginning of Governor Robert Bentley’s Administration. Cooper comes out of retirement to head the Alabama Department of Transportation. His
      Phone Number is 334-242-6776.

    12. Truthseeker on January 24, 2014 at 5:42 AM said:

      The signs are real, I saw one tonight on I-10 near the MS/ AL line. The Alabama Dept. of Transportation controls all the Alabama rest stops. John R. Cooper became Alabama’s Transportation Director effective January 17, 2011, with the beginning of Governor Robert Bentley’s Administration. Cooper comes out of retirement to head the Alabama Department of Transportation. His
      Phone Number is 334-242-6776.

    13. Karabiner31 on January 24, 2014 at 9:44 AM said:

      Alabama residents don’t have any more luck with it. This has been a well debated topic among 2A groups in Alabama. Let’s have been written to the appropriate persons. We aren’t sure if it was just a bureaucratic flunky running interference, or a legitimate “don’t care” response, but the turn let was about two sentences and said they didn’t see why the rest stupid couldn’t legally prohibit weapons.

      This was a letter to ALDOT, since they run them. Next step is a letter to the AG. Though with Luther Strange, we aren’t expecting any help.

    14. “Alabama law specifically forbids the “Possession of firearms by persons participating in, attending, etc., demonstrations at public places.“ So a 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 would think that a picnic is a casual use unless it is a recurring event. A casual “rest stop” picnic usually does not draw onlookers or a crowd.

      “(1) DEMONSTRATION. Demonstrating, picketing, speechmaking or marching, holding of vigils and all other like forms of conduct which involve the communication or expression of views or grievances engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which has the effect, intent or propensity to draw a crowd or onlookers. Such term shall not include casual use of property by visitors or tourists which does not have an intent or propensity to attract a crowd or onlookers.”

    15. TJ Conwell on January 24, 2014 at 10:33 AM said:

      So ….. do we leave it in a drop box by the exit? Or, should we pee on the road AT the exit?

    16. Truthseeker on January 24, 2014 at 1:01 PM said:

      If the ALDOT Director Cooper won’t undo it, a simple signature from Gov. Bentley will relieve him of his job and then he can appoint somebody who understands his oath. I called the number and they are getting pretty P.O.ed. Everybody should make their opinion known.

    17. Every post should also include this # – (334)242-6776. Maybe enough will call it and they will get the message.

    18. I live in Alabama. I have NO intention of obeying an illegal sign. FULL STOP! They also have them posted on the entry points INTO the new High School in Enterprise, Alabama. When the GOVERNMENT does something that is this illegal, the CITIZEN is duty bound to ignore the “law!” Carry on…and “Carry” where you will…

    19. Proper response on January 24, 2014 at 5:26 PM said:

      Using these signs for late night target practice until removed would make a good point. Since rest stops are generally not within city limits, there’e no chance of a “wrongfully discharging a firearms within the city limits” charge.

    20. hutch1200 on January 25, 2014 at 4:24 AM said:

      OK, I’m having trouble sleeping, but it are law abiding citizens are now lumped in w/criminals. Like I said this may be way off base.
      WTF. Are we gonna have to rally w/thieves and hold a rally to remedy this situation? Criminals & 2A supporters now have a common cause. This “Rabbit Hole” has not bottom & we now elect thugs.
      I’m definitely not gonna sleep tonight!

    21. Thank goodness we live in a time and country that is so perfect and so well run that the only thing worth worrying about is whether or not we can carry guns at all times in all places.

      Now if it were only legal to shoot those who say otherwise.

    22. Jason Baker on March 20, 2014 at 9:26 PM said:

      Mr. Weingarten have you heard from the ALDOT regarding this. I’m writing an article for Examiner.com on the fight for the Second Amendment in 2014. I’m including a link to your article in it.

    23. I am the “Rick” in the Arizona Rest stop protest.

      How did this shake out over the last few months?

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