New permitless carry law includes grant program for sheriff’s departments losing funds
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Starting next week, County Sheriff’s Departments across the state are going to be bringing in less money.
The new permitless carry law starts on Jan. 1, which means you no longer need a permit to concealed carry a gun in Alabama, something departments charge a fee for.
Sheriff’s departments across the state charge a fee for a gun permit. Each county varies in price, but departments keep the money for things like equipment and trainings. But, now many worry without people buying the permits, they’ll lose a big chunk of funding.
You still need a permit until the new year, but the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department said they saw less people buying pistol permits this year in anticipation of the new law. The Walker County Sherriff’s Department tells WBRC that they already are seeing 50% less money coming in a month from gun carry permits.
State legislators anticipated the drop in funds, and included a $5 million grant program in the law, where departments that show a loss, can have help. Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department’s permit cost was on the lower end, at only $7.50 a year, so they won’t take as big of a hit as other counties. But they say they still don’t think the grant money will be enough.
“We are going to be losing that funding we received from the pistol permits,” Lt. Joni Money said. “But, there is a state grant that is hopefully going to provide some of that back to us, but I don’t think it will take care of all of it.”
That’s because the grant funding drops to only $2 million for counties to split in the following years. The money is also set to based off of each county’s permit sales in 2022, which many report a significant decrease in, likely because of the new law.
Alabama County Commission Association officials report statewide gun permit revenues are down about 30% overall across the state from last year, with some counties experiencing more than that.
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