Missouri’s New Gun Legislation Is Dangerous!
Missouri lawmakers have passed dangerous legislation regarding the possession of guns, whether concealed or not. Effective January 1, 2017, all citizens of Missouri may lawfully carry concealed weapons without obtaining the proper training or certification.
In the past, Missouri required individuals to go through an investigative process with the Sheriff in the county of their residence to receive a concealed carry permit. This at least provided a basic background check to determine whether the applicant was legally and mentally fit to carry a concealed weapon.
Under this new law, the permit process is made ineffective, and not a requirement to carry a weapon. This law allows individuals without scrutiny, training, or notification to carry a concealed weapon. These people may include:
- Those who have pled guilty to felonies, but received a suspended imposition of sentence (regardless of whether it involved gun-related violence).
- 18-year-old high school students.
- A person charged (but not yet convicted) of certain felonies.
- A person who has two or more misdemeanor DUI convictions within the last five years.
- A person with two or more misdemeanor drug convictions within the last five years.
The added social concern here is that in many urban areas (which are constantly under stress from police stops), many police officers will often presume that a black male is in possession of a weapon. In these cases, constitutional violations of “stop and frisk” will become more commonplace.
Our firm has already seen the result of suspicious police shootings and the rise of protests coupled with violence following the placement of these laws. A mere raising of a cell phone may now be considered probable cause to take a person’s life.
This also creates an environment of suspicion among the citizens. Consider a situation where a disagreement is being settled. Instead of walking away and cooling down, there may be a higher risk of shootouts. The latest statistical data on gun violence in the St. Louis area displays this.
Without proper training, innocent people are at great risk. Missouri should reconsider allowing the safety of its citizens to be put in jeopardy because of the need to show some implicit “strength” of the constituency to conservative members of Congress – both State and Federal.