MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Statewide groups are pushing for legislation next session to restore funding to sheriff’s offices that have lost revenue due to the new permitless concealed carry law passed this year.

While the law doesn’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2023, some counties have already reported significant revenue losses according to Association of County Commissions of Alabama Executive Director Sonny Brasfield.

“We’ve already seen a 30% decline really statewide and, in some counties, even more than that,” Brasfield said.

The new law set aside money to reimburse counties for lost revenue, with $5 million set for 2023 and $2 million each for the next two years after.

That money, however, is based on revenue sales in 2022, which also took a hit.

“It’s only going to be a portion of what is anticipated to be the shortfall,” Alabama Sheriffs Association President and Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said.

Jones says that money goes toward essential equipment for law enforcement.

“Ballistic vests, vehicles, radios, communications equipment, I mean these are vital components of what we have to have to do our job,” Jones said.

The ACCA and the Alabama Sheriffs Association want to see the reimbursement based on 2021 permit revenue before the bill passes.

“That political argument and public policy argument is behind us now. We lost it. We recognize that,” Brasfield said. “We’re moving forward and trying to find other ways to make sure we protect the public. But the important thing is to make sure the money’s restored.”

A panel of lawmakers discussed amending the reimbursement calculation during a conference last week, with at least some signaling support for the change.

“That would be the right move — to move back to a year when we had a full funding of the pistol permits,” Rep. A.J. McCampbell (D- Demopolis) said.

The 2023 session starts in March, and Brasfield says discussions are already underway with lawmakers about a change to the law’s reimbursement structure.