GENEVA, Ala. (WDHN) — According to the Geneva County Sheriff’s Office, fewer people are coming to this courthouse to get a pistol permit.
Starting Jan. 1, Alabama residents will no longer be required to have a concealed carry permit.
Earlier this year, the Alabama senate voted to end the requirement for a person 18 years or older to get a permit to carry a pistol in public.
The forthcoming law is already slowing down the business at the sheriff’s office.
“We have seen a reduction in permit sales we have seen a lot of people come in to see how the law works and they say well I’m never going to Florida, so they choose not to get one,” Sheriff Tony Helms said.
Pistol permits in Geneva County are $20. Helms said on a slow day they can sell about 12 permits but in the last two days, they have only sold three.
With the business slowing, it’s also affecting the revenue stream for the sheriff’s department in a small rural county. Five dollars of each permit sold goes to the commission’s general fund budget.
That money goes a long way in providing essentials for the department.
“We’ll have to do some second guessing on training, we may have to second guess and prioritize, we paid for car repairs out of that so like I said it’s going to be hard,” Helms said.
And the new law could make it challenging for law enforcement during traffic stops.
“An officer stops a vehicle and he sees a pistol laying over on the seat he can longer inquire he has no probable cause to seize it, see if it’s stolen,” He said. “The only thing we can do is go back to the care and check and see if that person can be in the possession of a firearm legally.”
If your permit expires between now and January 1, you must still renew. Also, a permit is required still after the new law goes into effect if you’re crossing state lines because you will be penalized under the state’s law.