From Missouri Digital News: https://mdn.org
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG Mo. Digital News Missouri Digital News MDN.ORG: Mo. Digital News MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
Lobbyist Money Help  

Columbia legislators voice disappointment over Missouri Supreme Court's decision to allow Missourians to carry concealed guns

February 26, 2004
By: Gaurav Ghose
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY -- Columbia legislators voiced disappointment over the state Supreme Court's ruling Thursday that would allow Missourians to carry concealed guns.

Sen. Ken Jacob, D-Columbia, who opposed the concealed carry legislation last session, said he disagreed with the Missouri Supreme Court's decision. In particular, he said he was concerned that the law allows people age 21 and older to carry a gun in a car.

"To me that was the most dangerous provision of the bill and that remains in effect," Jacob said.

He added that having armed drivers could lead to more serious road rage incidents.

Lawmakers also questioned whether Boone County could afford to implement the permit program.

The court's ruling did recognize that the state Constitution requires the state to fund any new local mandates. Due to a demonstrated lack of funding, the court exempted four counties -- Greene, Cape Girardeau, Jackson and Camden -- from having to issue concealed gun permits.

Rep. Vicky Riback Wilson, D-Columbia, added that Boone County may want to follow those four counties that sued the state in order to be exempt from the law.

"I would assume that Boone County would choose to sue," Wilson said.

Rep. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, agreed, saying other counties would likely be coming forward and trying to opt out.

Rep. Jeff Harris, D-Columbia, declined to comment on the ruling since he had not yet had a chance to read the court's decision.

Ultimately, Graham said, "that would be a decision to be made by the county commissioners."

Attorney General Jay Nixon said he expects lawmakers to introduce legislation to solve the funding problem.

But given the state's budget woes, Graham said he worries that other programs will suffer because money will be going to fund the concealed gun permits.

Graham added, "I would hope that wouldn't be the highest priority in a tight budget year ... when we are closing down schools and increasing tuition costs."