St. Louis and St. Louis County, Mo., have refused to issue permits to carry concealed handguns, leading many area residents to get permits in states like Pennsylvania, Utah, and Florida, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. They allow out-of-state applications, and Missouri honors their permits. A new Missouri law that will force the city and county to grant permits has law enforcement officials bracing for an influx of permit applications that local gun experts believe won’t happen.
“This comes two years too late,” said Jim Keller, owner of Keller Gun Works. “Most everybody who wanted a permit has already gotten one.” Missouri became the 46th state to legalize concealed-weapons permits in 2003, over the objection of then-governor Bob Holden and officials in St. Louis and St. Louis County. Jim Stephens, owner of Bullseye Indoor Shooting Range, said that, “Thousands of people have already gone out of state. The rush is over. Some people will still sign up, but not as many as they expect. The county fought this for two years and now they have nothing to show for it.” Statewide, about 16,000 background checks have been requested for applications for concealed-weapons permits.