MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) — A new law passed during Alabama’s most recent legislative session allows gun owners to carry a concealed firearm without a permit — and it takes effect on January 1, 2023.

As News 19 reported earlier this year, the bill ends the requirement for a person to get a concealed carry permit to carry a loaded weapon under their clothes, in a bag, or in their vehicle.

The bill was passed by the Alabama House of Representatives on a 70-29 vote and the Alabama Senate on a 24-6 vote earlier this year. It was signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey on March 10.

At the time of its signing, Ivey said, “Unlike states who are doing everything in their power to make it harder for law-abiding citizens, Alabama is reaffirming our commitment to defending our Second Amendment rights.”

Despite cheers from lawmakers who voted to pass the measure — reactions weren’t all positive.

Before the bill was brought up for a vote in February, the Alabama Sheriffs Association (ASA) announced its opposition to the legislation saying it would “allow dangerous criminals to avoid background checks or other security checks.”

ASA was joined in its opposition by the Association of County Commissions of Alabama, the Alabama Association of School Resource Officers, and several local law enforcement agencies.

Lawrence County Sheriff Max Sanders supported the measure.

“I believe the [Second Amendment] is a right of the citizens that is granted by the Constitution and that citizens should not have to pay money for that right,” Sanders explained. “The Alabama legislature agrees with that point of view.”

Sanders said pistol permit sales have dropped over the last three years. The sales for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 are expected to be $106,848 — down from $142,080 in 2020.

“We use this money to buy patrol cars and equipment,” he continued. “We will have to wait and see what the numbers are for FY 2023. We expect the pistol permit numbers to be down a small percent. Gun owners will still need a permit to travel out-of-state.”

When Alabama’s law takes effect on January 1, there will be 23 permitless carry states across the nation. See the full list on NewsNation.