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Concealed weapons may lead to tenser traffic stops

October 9, 2003
By: Aidian Holder
State Capital Bureau

When the concealed carry law goes into effect Saturday, most Missourians over the age of 21 will be able to legally carry a loaded handgun in their car, and this has some concerned that routine traffic stops are more likely to turn violent. Aidian (uh-de-an) Holder report.

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Under the old law, anyone carrying a handgun in their car had to leave it unloaded and locked away.

But as of Saturday, anyone over the age of 21 with a legal hangun can carry it -- fully loaded -- inside their car.

Opponents of the law say this makes it more likely that police officers will be shot during routine traffic stops, but Marco Tapia, executive director of the Missouri Deputy Sherriffs' Association, says we don't need to fear seeing dead cops on the side of the road.

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Contents: Tapia says cops that exercise reasonable caution aren't in any more danger from this law than they would be otherwise.

The new law is being challenged in court, but is unlikely to be stayed before it goes into effect.

From the state Capitol, I'm Aidian Holder

Date: 09/10/2003

By: Aidian Holder

State Capital Bureau

The new concealed weapons law goes into effect Saturday, and with it the potential of thousands of handguns being carried by drivers. Aidian Holder reports.

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Under the current law, anyone carrying a handgun in their car has to have it unloaded and locked away. After Saturday, anyone over 21 can carry a loaded gun in their car without a permit.

This means that police officers have to approach every traffic stop as if they're dealing with an armed driver, and this can lead to tension, and, some fear, bloodshed.

Corporal John Parrish of the Missouri Highway Patrol says he's worried about the risks -- but not to himself.

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Opponents of the law are fighting it in court, but it's unlikely to be stayed before the law goes into effect this weekend.

From the state Capitol, I'm Aidian Holder.