CCW at a glance for Vernon County
I have had a lot of questions about the new CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) laws that are soon to take effect. This has been covered several times in the paper and radio, but I wanted to take the time and cover it again for those who may have missed any of the information before. There are two dates of importance within the new law (Senate Bill 656), but there are some things I would like to point out before going into the dates and what changes they bring.
There has been a lot of confusion regarding the permit itself because if you will be able to carry without a permit then why get one? With the new law, you will still be able to obtain a permit if you would like and I will talk about the difference between having a permit and not having one after we go over the dates.
The first date that brings a change is Oct. 14, and it affects the CCW permit itself. Starting on this date, there will be different options for CCW permits, with different prices depending on how long a person would like their permit to be valid.
These options are as follows: 5-year permit (not to exceed $100), 10-year permit (not to exceed $200), 25-year permit (not to exceed $250) and a life-time permit (not to exceed $500). The statute states that the fee shall not (exceed) these amounts, so next week I will be releasing the amounts the Vernon County Sheriff's Office will be charging for these permits; and I plan for them to be much lower than the limits.
The second date to note is Jan. 1, 2017. This is the date that the law goes into effect to allow people who wish to carry a firearm without a permit. Under this section the law states that carrying a concealed weapon is only a crime if carried in an area where a person with a concealed carry permit is restricted from carrying firearms.
Here is where it will matter if you have a permit. If a person with a permit carries into an area that is prohibited, the law states it is not a criminal act. If a person without a permit carries into a place that is prohibited, it is a criminal act and carries a charge of a B misdemeanor. There are 17 places in Missouri that prohibit carrying a weapon.
So there are two options you will have. First, you can carry without a permit after Jan. 1, 2017, (in non-restricted areas); or second, you can take a class to obtain a permit that will provide more protection when carrying in public (not a crime to carry in prohibited areas). I have always been a supporter of the second amendment and the freedom to protect yourself and family, but I am also a very strong supporter of training.
If someone is not familiar with the laws in Missouri when it comes to self-defense, carrying a weapon, or firing a weapon, I would strongly encourage taking a class by a certified instructor. There is a lot of information and great discussion that goes on in the classes; Missouri laws regarding self-defense and where you can and cannot carry are covered in detail.
In the end, it will be up to each person to decide if they want to obtain a permit, but the training is always a good thing to have! We will be releasing the new CCW prices for permits and adding additional information about training requirements to our website very soon.