Governor Kay Ivey signed "The Sound of Freedom Act" into law on Wednesday, establishing a minimum punishment of life imprisonment for human trafficking of a minor in Alabama.

The legislation is named after the "Sound of Freedom," a recent hit film that tells the story of Tim Ballard, a former Homeland Security agent who saved children from sex traffickers in Colombia.

State Rep. Donna Givens (R-Loxley) sponsored the legislation, which passed unanimously through the House and Senate. The bill was amended to clarify specific language, including one that specifies that a defendant 18 and under would be charged with a Class A felony, while everyone over 19 would immediately be sentenced to life.

"Human trafficking of minors is one of the most heinous and heart-wrenching crimes in America, and because the most defenseless among us are the victims, those found guilty should face the harshest penalties," Ivey said.  

"As human trafficking spreads across the nation, law enforcement everywhere has struggled to keep pace with those who want to harm and exploit innocent victims. Sadly, we've witnessed such cases right here in Alabama where human traffickers continue to cavalierly defy our laws, but not anymore."

The bill drew support from many across the state, including former U.S. Navy SEAL Jared Hudson, who appeared at the state house to support the legislation. Hudson operates his own organization to rescue human trafficking victims in Alabama called Covenant Rescue Group.

SEE ALSO: Alabama's 'Sound of Freedom': Former U.S. Navy SEAL Jared Hudson works to save human trafficking victims

The bill will go into effect on October 1.

"There must be a line drawn in the sand, and Alabama is now leading the country with the toughest punishment for anyone who is found guilty of first-degree human trafficking of a minor," Ivey continued. "They will face nothing less than life behind bars. That is something these criminals will have to think long and hard about before they seek to harm children in our state."

"I was proud to sign the Sound of Freedom Act into law enabling Alabama to take the lead in protecting children from these horrendous crimes. I also commend Representative Donna Givens for introducing and shepherding this important legislation to final approval."

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