KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missourians have mixed reactions as a new state law takes effect, making it legal to carry a concealed weapon without permits or training.
The new law makes Missouri the 11th state to pass such a measure expanding gun rights. Kansas passed a similar law back in 2015.
FOX 4 talked with both advocates and opponents of the law Monday night, including a firearms instructor at Show Me Shooters Indoor Range and shop in the Northland.
Don Pind, who teaches classes on safety and offers lessons, said he has already seen a significant drop in concealed carry class enrollment since the law was passed, which he believes could be dangerous.
“I`m not for it,” Pind said of the new law. “I`m really not. The biggest problem we`re finding out is people don`t know what they can and can`t do.”
Pind said to clear up the confusion, his shop has been handing out informational sheets to customers explaining the particulars of the new law.
“We`re having a lot of misunderstandings,” he said. “We`ve given out probably close to 200 sheets like this in the last couple of days.”
For example, the handout explains that without a concealed carry permit, it's still illegal to carry a gun in places like police departments, government buildings, airports and schools. With or without a permit, you still can't carry a gun on buses or metro trains.
“And that`s the problem we`re finding out, people just are not up on the law,” Pind said.
It's a law that got mixed reactions when FOX 4 stopped people at random on the Plaza.
“I do think you should have the right to conceal and carry,” said Dana Johnston, who also supports background checks and training. “I just think that`s your right.”
Yinka Perry, however, worries the new law will increase the number of guns on the street and incite more violence.
“It`s going to back to the days of the old West,” Perry said, “where everybody is, you know, carrying strapped. You look at me wrong, I can shoot you... No more conflict resolution.”
Colten Lovejoy, a gun owner since he was a kid, said he understands both sides of the debate.
“I think it`s a good thing and a bad thing,” Lovejoy said. “I think it`s good because you deserve the right as an American to own guns and to carry guns, but I also feel like someone that`s never dealt with a gun shouldn’t be able to carry it around.”
People gave FOX 4 opinions across the board, but most agreed on one thing – getting proper training is a personal responsibility people should still take seriously.
“Well, how would you feel about driving if nobody around you had taken a driver`s test ever?” Pind said. “Don`t you kind of like the idea that your doctor got a lot of training before he does surgery? Yeah, that`s the thing. You need some kind of training!”
The new law also expands the Castle Doctrine, which allows homeowners to use deadly force against intruders. It also creates a Stand-Your-Ground right, which means people no longer must run away from danger before shooting.
See Pind's handout below for a more specific breakdown of the law’s rules as it relates to concealed carry permits versus permitless carry: