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Missourians No Longer Need Permit to Carry Concealed Firearms

Missourians
can carry concealed firearms without the previously required eight-hour training
course and permit which became mandatory in 2003.  

 

Missouri
becomes the eighth state to allow individuals to carry concealed firearms for
lawful purposes without a permit, according to the National Rifle Association
(NRA). Connecticut provides the state government with some discretion over the
issuance of a carry permit, but generally grants permits to all law-abiding
citizens. All other states either restrict carrying of firearms for personal
protection or have stringent requirements for use.

 

Late
in the evening of the Missouri Legislature’s one-day veto session on Sept. 14,
the Senate debated for approximately two hours before voting 24-6 to override
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of Senate Bill 656. The House quickly voted 112-41
to overturn the governor’s veto.

 

The
provision to conceal-and-carry without a permit goes into effect within 30
days. The new Missouri law also provides greater protections for people who
feel threatened and use deadly force in both private and public areas. That
“stand your ground” provision goes into effect on Jan. 1.

 

Missouri
still will maintain its current permit system for anyone who wishes to go
through training and obtain a permit. Currently, permits must be renewed once
every five years following a background check. Under the new law, any Missouri
resident who has a permit can pay a $500 fee to receive a lifetime permit.
Permit holders still are required to go through background checks every five
years.

 

Ryan
Johnson, of the Missouri Alliance for Freedom, praised the legislation.

 

“(Senate
Bill 656) strengthens Missouri’s Stand Your Ground laws, expands
Castle Doctrine protections, and provides members of the military with
extra time to renew their carry permits,” Johnson said in a written statement. “A
special thanks is owed to the leadership teams in the Senate and the House of
Representatives for championing (SB 656) under heavy pressure from the extreme
left-wing grassroots activists and their donors.”

 

The
NRA also applauded the legislature’s efforts.

 

“This
is a great day for freedom in Missouri,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director
of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action in a written statement. “The
legislature stood strong for the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens
by overriding Gov. Nixon’s misguided veto. Despite the best efforts of Michael
Bloomberg and out-of-state gun control groups to defeat the override vote,
their agenda was rejected.”

 

However,
in his veto letter, Nixon said he was concerned that anyone can conceal a
firearm under the new legislation, including someone who has been charged with
but not pled guilty to a felony; has pled guilty to a felony with a suspended
imposition of sentence; has been convicted of a misdemeanor assault; or has beee convicted of two
or more DUIs or drug possession offenses in the past five years.

Current law
does not allow concealed carry permits for those offenses.

 

A
group of more than 100 moms, wearing red T-shirts with the words “Moms Demand
Action,” rallied at the capitol and condemned passage of the bill. The Missouri
chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for
Gun Safety, released a statement saying Missouri lawmakers “kowtowed” to the
gun lobby.

 

“SB
656 (is) a dangerous gun bill that dismantles Missouri’s concealed carry permit
requirement and lets people – including some violent criminals, certain repeat
drug offenders, and people with no firearms safety training – carry hidden,
loaded handguns in public,” the statement said.

“SB 656 also upends traditional
Missouri self-defense law and allows people to shoot to kill in public places,
even when they can clearly and safely walk away from the danger. The bill makes
Missouri the first new Stand Your Ground state since Trayvon Martin’s death.”

 

Opponents
said the new law flies in the face of general opposition throughout Missouri to
weaken the state’s concealed-carry permit system.

 

“Missouri
lawmakers buckled to the NRA instead of listening to the vast majority of
Missouri voters, including mayors and law enforcement leaders, who support our
current concealed carry permit system,” said Becky Morgan, volunteer chapter
leader with the Missouri Chapter of Moms Demand Action.

“As if opposing
lifesaving policies like criminal background checks on all gun sales wasn’t bad
enough, the gun lobby continues to push to put more guns in more places, with
no questions asked – laws that make the jobs of those who serve and protect us
more difficult and more dangerous.”

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