January 22, 2007
MO: Right to Open Carry
Regardless of Missouri state law prohibiting municipalities from enacting firearm ordinances that are stricter than state laws, there are a couple loop-holes that some towns have used. A new bill being introduced into the state legislature would end that practice:
Needless to say, some cops in the state are against the idea, particularly about doing away with prohibitions regarding discharging firearms. I assume the cities with such ordinances feel the population, or rather the housing density is too tight and that's not an unreasonable concern if someone living in an area of 1/4 acre lots starts plinking in their back yard and using their neighbor's as a back-stop. I can see NO reason to prohibit open carry.
Missouri's local governments would no longer be allowed to ban the open carrying of firearms or the discharge of those weapons within their boundaries under a bill introduced by Sen. Jason Crowell. If approved, the measure would make a Cape Girardeau city ordinance against openly carrying guns unenforceable along with another provision, which is also in Jackson's city ordinances, against the discharge of firearms within city limits.
The measure is designed to provide extra legal protection to people who may be forced to use a gun for self-defense and to make sure that laws are uniform across the state, said Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau. But the measure could handicap police efforts to control gun violence, Cape Girardeau police chief Carl Kinnison said, a sentiment that was echoed by Sheldon Lineback, executive director of the Missouri Police Chiefs Association.
For many years, Missouri law has barred local governments from enacting firearms regulations that are stricter than those in state law. The two exceptions remaining after lawmakers in 2003 approved the issuance of permits allowing residents to carry concealed weapons allowed local jurisdictions to ban the open carrying of firearms and to bar people from discharging the weapons.
Events following the enactment of the concealed weapons law show that law-abiding residents who receive the permits aren't trigger-happy, Crowell said. But he can imagine a scenario where someone who uses their legally allowed weapon to protect themselves is charged under municipal ordinances with illegally discharging their gun.