Southern offers

Colby Williams

Missouri Southern’s criminal justice department will hold an eight-hour firearms training course on Saturday, Sept. 15, in the Mills Anderson Criminal Justice Center giving students a chance to meet state requirements as part of a concealed carry license. Beginning at 8 a.m. the class will cover weapon care and the legal aspects of carrying and using firearms. It will also include live and simulated firing exercises in Southern’s live and computerized firing ranges.

Wayne Thomason, criminal justice program director, said this program is probably the only one in the area that fills the requirements set by Missouri legislation for carrying firearms, although there are other similar courses throughout the state. This state-of-the-art experience could be an important link between MSSU and the surrounding community.

“This course allows us to extend our program to constituents that may not ever have the chance to benefit from other university programs,” Thomason said. “Also, we appreciate the opportunity to present a class that benefits law enforcement officials in the area.

“When people take this class they receive the finest available instructors and use the finest available facilities, and it really promotes firearm safety for everyone in the area.”

Past students of this course say that even if they do not go on to apply for the concealed carry permit, this class gives them valuable firearm safety knowledge.

Thomason says that this course is open to students, faculty, and staff members, although in the past most attendees have been community members. Concealed weapons are not permitted on school property without proper authorization.

To enroll in the course must contact the criminal justice department, prepay $95 and bring a handgun, eye and ear protection, and fifty rounds of ammunition. For those who cannot bring their own firearm and/or ammunition, the necessary materials are available for an extra $25. Course attendees must be over 21-years-old.

The course itself is only the first step in applying for a concealed carry permit. Applicants must be felony free, US citizens and submit to state and federal criminal background checks. To obtain a Missouri concealed carry permit applicants must be military or a resident of the state and be at least 23-years-old. After completing this course, there is a $100 application fee and waiting period. The license extends for three years and allows the holder to carry licensed firearms on their person.

To register and pre-pay for the course, please contact Brenda Spurlin at (417) 625-9328 or at [email protected].