State law can prevent this however, the firearm laws of Missouri specifically grant the communities to do so in some aspects. CCW has a state wide preemption, but they specifically state that this does not exist for openly carrying firearms.
This in its self is a double edged sword so to speak. Despite what it might seem, cities are property owners. I am not fond of the idea of the state telling YOU what you can do with your own property. Since I believe that, then I have to sort of say the same thing for the city with their property. The problem is, the cities laws effect everyone not just the city itself. This still remains sticky because you should certainly be allowed to tell me I can not carry on YOUR property so do I not have to grant the city the same respect?
This is why we have constitutions, dictating how far the government may intrude. I agree with you, they should not be able to change the rules. You and I agreeing has nothing to do with reality and the state granting cities the right to operate independent is important, I just do not think it is so important that it allows them to impede individual liberties of their citizens.
The lines are actually more defined than what you stated depending on where you reside. Where I am located, it can be legal on one side of the street and not the other.
Open carry is not popular, in fact it is really far from it, it has no legislative bite to it at all in fact it is almost poison to try and press for a legislator in our area. HB 2150 died long before committee last year as have similar efforts of the past. The up coming session is not looking fantastic but it will hit the list again. As it sits there are more than a few RINO's who talk the talk but never walk the walk. As long as folks just whine and do not vote, they stay in office.
In the grand scheme of things, economy, jobs etc, firearms rights restoration is not a likely calling card for any of our reps, they just have too many other priorities. We may have their attention and their ear, but until folks are not running scared rabbits, you are not going to see a huge shift in things.
Open carry as I said has limited support and the support it does have has quite almost nonexistent organization and efforts to organize it fall flat. Put yourself in a legislative seat, now I call you and say "hey, we want this" and you ask "who are we" if my answer is me and 20 other guys, you glad hand me and move on to more important issues as my group does not represent enough folks to possibly help you get elected or ousted.
Change will not happen because more folks start open carrying, more regulation and laws will and it has already happened. It will take effort, more effort than most are willing to put out just as CCW did for several years to get passed. As it sits right now, you do not even have an organization to send funds to support, just a lot of good folks talkin about guns and a little smack every now and then (yes, talkin bout you and I) but nothing very important will ever come about from such things because disorganized passion and effective organizational methods are different items completly.