Local county sheriff’s department already seeing dip in gun permit revenues; state funds soon will be available

Constitutional carry hitting Walker Co. Sheriff's funding
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 9:30 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2022 at 10:55 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - County sheriffs are working on ways to make up for losing concealed carry permit revenues from their budgets. The new law does not go into effect until January 1, 2023, but one local department is already seeing less money coming in.

The Walker County Sherriff’s Department tells WBRC that they are already seeing 50 percent less money coming in a month from gun carry permits. State leaders said once the new law is in effect, sheriff’s departments will be able to get access to money to help.

“As of right now, we are looking at about half the number of sales we normally have,” TJ Armstrong with the Walker County Sherriff’s Department said.

Right now, you still need to have a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Alabama, but that will change at the start of the new year, and Walker County is already seeing less permit applications and renewals.

“We are seeing a decrease in the number of people buying a permit,” Armstrong said. “Normally, we see about $12,000 a month on average in permits. I think last month we had $6,400 come in.”

Armstrong said that’s the money they use for things like patrol cars and equipment.

“There is a statute in Alabama that the sheriff’s office can’t do fundraisers,” Armstrong said. “So, we can get donations, but we can’t actually do a fundraiser, so it makes it a little difficult.”

State Rep. Allen Treadaway said this is why the state put safeguards into the new permit-less carry bill.

“What Alabama has done, that no other state has, is started a fund,” Treadaway said. “They moved in three million dollars initially, with the promise to add additional dollars, and if there is any shortage in these sheriff department’s funds, then they can apply for it and show there was a drop off.”

Armstrong said he doesn’t think permit revenue will stop completely, because gun owners still need a permit with the new law once out-of-state.

“If you don’t have a permit, you’re safe in Alabama,” Armstrong said. “But, if you go to Tennessee and you get pulled over with that in your car, you could be facing some criminal action.”

Armstrong said they’ve been seeing this slow decrease since the permit-less carry law was announced, but he said you can still get arrested for not having a valid permit until January 1, 2023.


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