Permits, training drop dramatically in wake of new Missouri ‘Constitutional Carry’ law

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A new law in Missouri this year means you don’t need a permit to carry a concealed weapon anymore.

Last year at this time the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office had already issued 619 concealed carry weapons permits. This year they’ve only issued 109. That’s more than an 80 percent drop.

The only full-time employee left in the division that issues the permits says wait times have decreased from 60 to just six days for the permits since the law went into effect January 1. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office has lost an estimated $50,000 in revenue compared to the same month last year, and had to downsize the permit division as a result.

One instructor said he's gone from offering three classes a month, to now struggling to fill one. Kansas went through a similar decline in permits and training went the state made the move to constitutional carry in 2015.

“Everybody thought it was great we don’t have our permit that’s fantastic, I understand the constitutional side of it, the second amendment, however, when it comes down to it we have so many more laws when we wrote the constitution we need to be able to protect ourselves,” Strongpoint International Protection Specialist Doug Bennett said.

Bennett says he's seen an increased interest in advanced courses and people wanting to learn how to de-escalate situations. He hopes like has started to happen in Kansas, new Missouri gun owners will decide training is worthwhile.

“You can buy a gun, but if you don’t know how to use it properly without hurting yourself or how to load it properly you are doing yourself a disservice,” Bennett said.

Another reason you might consider a permit is if you ever plan on traveling to a state that requires permits for concealed weapons.