COLUMBIA — Missouri residents will no longer get concealed weapons permits through the Department of Revenue as Missouri sheriffs prepare to take over the responsibility for printing gun permits on Wednesday.
This change to Missouri's concealed weapons laws was authorized when Gov. Jay Nixon signed Senate Bill 75 on July 12. Sheriffs argue it will not make it any easier for applicants to get permits.
"It's just a shift of responsibility," said Major Tom Reddin of the Boone County Sheriff's Department.
In the past, applicants had to get concealed weapons endorsements from a sheriff's department, but then had to take the endorsement to the Department of Revenue to print the physical permit.
Starting Wednesday, sheriff's departments will be solely responsible for evaluating concealed weapons permit applications and printing them.
Reddin said the change will significantly increase the responsibilities of the Boone County Sheriff's Department.
"We are fully expecting to do over 2,000 new and renewed permits this year alone," Reddin said.
To accommodate the increased workload, the sheriff's department will transform a restroom into a concealed weapons permit station. It will also buy new equipment such as card printers, cards and software to create the permits.
The new law will bring other changes to Missouri's concealed weapons laws that also take effect on Wednesday:
- Applicants will no longer need to be U.S. citizens. Instead, applicants need to be permanent U.S. residents who can provide legal documentation.
- The bill will make concealed weapons permits valid for five years, up from three years.
- Photos of concealed weapons permit holders will no longer appear on the physical permit issued by sheriffs. Applicants will still need to show a government-issued ID to apply for the permit.
Supervising editor is Edward Hart.