MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — With the start of 2023, Alabamians no longer need a permit to carry a gun concealed.

The passage of that law also required implementation of the “Firearms Prohibited Person” database — a statewide system to help law enforcement identify people who cannot legally have a firearm due to criminal history or other reasons.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is tasked with developing and maintaining the database.

“Really what this does, this database gives us the ability to figure out who are the people that need to have the guns, and then who are the individuals that shouldn’t have them,” ALEA Sgt. Jeremy Burkett said.

Burkett says when officers are giving out traffic tickets for instance, they can be instantly notified if that person should not have a firearm.

“I can now go get that information from that database to be able to figure that out, whereas before there would be more steps,” Burkett said.

The database has been live since October 2022, so officers had a chance to prepare for the law to take effect Jan. 1, 2023. Burkett says since it’s still so new, they will continue to monitor its use to see if any updates may be necessary over time.

“We’ll continue to look for ways to enhance it. This is relatively a new process with some new laws. So we’re sure there will be things we’re able to learn, so we’ll continue to develop and make the system better,” Burkett said.

The database is legally required as part of the new law. According to ALEA, it cost about $400,000 to implement and will cost $45,000 annually to maintain.

While you no longer need to, you still can get a permit in Alabama. ALEA reminds citizens that if you’re traveling out of state, some states do require non-residents to have a permit from their state of residence.