Missouri passes permitless concealed carry legislation

Jack Girard

According to new Missouri state law, citizens will no longer need permits to carry concealed weapons as of January 1, 2017. The bill that makes it legal, Missouri Senate Bill 656, was originally vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon on June 27, but the state Senate overrode his decision on Sept. 14.

The law originally passed with 114 to 36 votes in the House and a 24-8 vote in the state Senate. The law was lobbied for by the National Rifle Association and lobbied against by the Fraternal Brotherhood of Police.

The 50-page law was entirely created around the permit-less carry.

As state legislation, the law only applies in state; concealed weapons will not be allowed without permits from Missouri in other states. Licenses are still available in Missouri with varying prices for different renewal periods.

Adjustments to other laws are present in the bill. The bill does change the penalty for carrying a concealed weapon in areas with restrictions against them from a class D felony to a class B misdemeanor. Military personnel are allotted an extra two months’ time to renew permits if they are on deployment.

In addition, according to the Cantor Injury Law, a St. Louis firm, Missouri residents who are the victim of a break-in are not required to retreat before using deadly force against an intruder.

The bill left many other laws unaffected. The requirement for concealed carry is that the weapon in question is small enough to hide. There are 17 types of buildings that concealed weapons are not allowed in, including courthouses of any kind and college campuses. Concealed carry is allowed in churches, but only with permission. Special provisions are made for police on campus as well.

 Chief of Univeristy Police Ken Kennedy said he has considered changing signs around campus to reflect the law and to remind students and faculty of the campus policy around firearms.

“I’m a strong proponent of the second amendment,” said continuing education coordinator and concealed carry instructor Travis Walthall, “but what concerns me about the law change is that people will start carrying concealed weapons, which is legal to do so now so that’s fine, [but] I’m afraid people will do it without training, and, I mean, it’s very important that people understand the important aspects of handling the firearm to begin with and more importantly what the law has been prior that says what they can and can’t do concerning deadly force.”