New gun law concerns sheriffs

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

DeLay: Missourians at risk of arrest in neighboring states

The law enforcement community has expressed mixed feelings about the Missouri General Assembly's veto override of the bill removing permit requirements for those carrying concealed weapons.

"This entire bill is a mess," said Lawrence County Sheriff Brad DeLay. "It basically does absolutely nothing but add confusion to an already confusing law."


DeLay pointed out Missouri was already an open carry state for firearms and allowed citizens to carry a weapon concealed in their vehicle without a permit.

"Unfortunately, I am afraid that the legislature has just put Missouri citizens at risk of arrest in other states," DeLay said. "As of this moment, it is still not clear what is going to happen and how it is going to happen. Sheriffs across the state are waiting for a legal interpretation of what has just happened. We do not know if CCW, [concealed and carry weapons], permits in general are now invalid in Missouri.

"If this is the case, it presents an even further issue for Missouri residents who travel out of state. Currently, other states reciprocate our CCW permit because we have a CCW law. However, if that law is not invalid, then they will no longer be able to reciprocate our law and permits because we no longer have a law for permits."

DeLay said another issue he thinks will cause more problems is that fact that Missouri allows constitutional carry, but that does not reciprocate with other states.

"That means that while a person is perfectly legal to do so in Missouri, if the cross state lines into Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, etc., they could and probably would be arrested for carrying a concealed firearm without a permit, which is a felony in many states," he said.


Until clarification is forthcoming, DeLay encourages Missourians to continue as they did prior to the legislature's action. He recommended continuing to file for a CCW permit for the protection of the gun owner.

Other issues in the new law also raised concerns to DeLay.

"Training is a big issue as it deals with safety," he said. "I am all for constitutional carry. I do believe it is our right as citizens, but with that right also comes a huge responsibility. There are those who do have that right but have no business with a firearm. At this point, this is just something that the public will have to learn to deal with."

Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly could not see the point of the change.

"I liked it the way it was," Epperly said. "That way, people had to go though some training. A lot of women may never have handled a pistol before doing the training. There were thousands of people who took the concealed carry class and spent their hard-earned money to get a permit. Now, they can do that without the expense. I feel for them. I'm sure they would have probably waited if they had known this was going to happen.

"I don't know why they [the legislators] made that decision. We voted the right way. Things were working. If someone had a felony, they didn't even apply for a conceal carry permit. There were 10 states that followed along with Missouri's conceal-carry policy all around Missouri, except for Illinois."

Epperly said he had not talked to his officers about the new law year, adding he felt he needed to study it more and think about its ramifications. He understood the constitutional rights argument. However, he had reservations about what might happen because of the change.

"The new law lets everyone carry," he said. "Joe Doe, who has a felony, is liable to be carrying now. That's a concern of mine. If we stop someone on a traffic stop, now we have to be a little more cautious."

View 2 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • "Joe Doe, who has a felony, is liable to be carrying now. That's a concern of mine." umm, sir... Joe Doe, being a felon was A-->(probably) ALREADY PACKING A WEAPON. really?? you are concerned that maybe bad people will take advantage of this law to carry a concealed weapon? And B -->I am pretty sure, although I have not researched it, that Felons are still not legally able to carry a pistol, concealed or otherwise. The only concern this law brings with it is the fact that people that do not think things through may continue to carry a concealed weapon in another state. living in the SW corner of the state, three states are very close to me and I travel in them often. I can see where this might cause concern. but again..if you have a concealed weapon and are traveling, you better know the law in THAT state, not this one.

    -- Posted by DLnterprize on Thu, Sep 22, 2016, at 2:28 PM
  • These sheriffs do not seem very intelligent. Of course, I understand that they do not really care what happens outside of their county, but there is a whole world out there. For DeLay say something as silly as that people who carry "...if the (sic) cross state lines into Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, etc., they could and probably would be arrested for carrying a concealed firearm without a permit, which is a felony in many states," is ridiculous. He has picked three states which do not have statutes prohibiting concealed carry without a permit for MO residents. Arkansas and Kansas statutes do not require permits to carry, and OK law allows people from states which require no permit to carry there without a permit. True, one should research the specific nuances of each state's laws. And what is Epperly's basis for asserting that felons will be more likely to carry once this law goes into effect? The law does not expand the right to carry to felons. I'm thinking that these guys just haven't taken the time to read the law. The only other alternatives are that they have read the law and want to intentionally confuse the issue in order to keep receiving revenue from CCW fees, or that they have read the law and just aren't smart enough to understand it. It is written in plain English, you know.

    -- Posted by mopermitlesscarry on Thu, Oct 20, 2016, at 1:09 AM
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: