Missouri Supreme Court Upholds Concealed Gun Law

1:05 PM, Feb 27, 2004   |    comments
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By Steve Jankowski (KSDK) -- The Missouri Supreme Court hands down its ruling on the state's new conceal carry law Thursday and the court high court upheld the law as constitutional, but also ruled that some counties are exempt from the law. The law was enacted last fall after lawmakers overrode governor Holden’s veto. But if you think you can walk into this office and pick up an application for a concealed carry permit, you'd be jumping the gun. The law allows Missourians over the age of 23 to get a permit to carry a concealed gun. Applicants must first pass a criminal background check, complete a firearms training course and pay a $100 fee. It also allows any state resident over the age of 21 to conceal a gun in their car without a permit. The high court ruling excludes Jackson, Cape Girardeau, Greene and Camden counties, where it was decided the law would impose an unfunded mandate. But the ruling also indicates because of the Hancock Amendment, which forbids unfunded mandates, any county that accepts applications could be open to a similar lawsuit, and a suit that critics of the law say they could easily win. So ironically, both sides in this case are claiming victory. It's estimated 60 percent of the requests for concealed carry permits could come from St. Louis County. Chief Ron Battelle admits the phone here has been ringing off the hook. But he adds there will be no applications accepted here until the Supreme Court ruling is finalized, something that could take up to 15 days.

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