Missouri gun laws could allow life-time permits, constitutional carry

Published: Jun. 1, 2016 at 6:24 PM CDT
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Legislation on Missouri Governor Jay Nixon's desk could allow gun owners to get a concealed carry permit for life, or even carry without one.

Law enforcement say if you're wanting to carry a concealed weapon right now, go with the current laws and get a permit, because it's anybody's guess which pieces of legislation will become law.

Melissa McCormack took the class, did the paperwork, and just got her first concealed carry permit. "For safety, for me when I'm out by myself," says McCormack.

Doug Coatney has had his for years. "I've had it since they first started giving it out," says Coatney.

In Lawrence County, it costs $100 for the original permit, and $50 to renew every five years. But a bill passed by the legislature could allow life-time CCW permits for a $500 fee. It could be helpful for counties with long waiting lists, and for convenience. "I think the lifetime would be better," says McCormack.

But one concealed carry instructor believes it's a bad idea. He thinks people will get lazy, and not keep up on the laws or firearms training.

"I think there needs to be some type of responsibility to train that person, and even an updated training, continuing education, like was mentioned, just to keep people in practice. The laws change," says Lawrence County Sheriff Brad DeLay.

The same piece of legislation also proposes a change in castle doctrine, about the obligation to retreat. "It essentially eliminates that, and you are under no obligation to retreat or back up; you're just there to defend yourself and your family," says DeLay.

But another bill on the governor's desk would give Missourians constitutional carry in the state, allowing concealed carry without a permit wherever open carry is allowed. "I think it's a good thing; I think we have constitutional carry as far as I'm concerned," says Coatney.

But Sheriff Delay warns it may not be what some think. "If they walk over into Oklahoma with that concealed weapon without a permit, then they're going to be arrested for unlawful use of a weapon or something along those lines," says DeLay.

The lifetime permits would require a background check every 5 years, but not so with constitutional carry because there would be no permitting process. Both pieces of legislation have yet to be signed or vetoed by Governor Nixon.