The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS — As it comes time for thousands of Missouri residents to renew their permits to carry concealed weapons, law enforcement officials say the controversial concealed-carry law has had little effect on crime rates.
Police say it has neither reduced nor increased crime overall. People don’t seem to be shooting others, or themselves, by accident in any greater numbers.
“When they were debating this, one side was saying it was going to reduce crime and another was saying it was going to cause gunfights in the streets,” Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I really haven’t seen either. It’s really a nonissue right now. You’re not having fights in the streets, but it’s not saving the world either.”
Toelke’s office received 853 initial applications for the three-year permits and rejected about 20 based on the required criminal background check. Toelke’s department has received about 220 renewal applications, with more coming in. Two have been rejected so far.
In suburban St. Louis County, more than 3,000 concealed-carry permits have been issued by the police in about two years, officials said. About 10 percent of applicants were rejected.
The St. Louis County Police Department said it has no record of ever responding to a call that someone had carried a gun into one of the many restricted locations.
In rural Jefferson County, Sheriff Oliver “Glenn” Boyer said he hasn’t seen evidence that the concealed weapons encourage gunfights, as many critics had worried.
“I feel a lot more comfortable now that we haven’t seen the ’John Wayne syndrome’ in effect,” Boyer said.
There have been some isolated incidents involving legally carried weapons.
In March, a Florida man with a valid permit from that state wounded a would-be robber who approached him with what turned out to be a pellet gun outside a motel in Bridgeton. In May 2006, another man with a Florida permit was charged with first-degree murder in St. Louis for fatally shooting someone in a street quarrel.
Missouri’s first permits were issued in 2004, although litigation delayed them from being issued in some areas. St. Louis and St. Louis County did not begin issuing them until 2005.
The law bans permit-holders from carrying firearms onto trains, buses or into public venues like courthouses, churches, sports stadiums or any property where a notice is posted. Violators face fines and possible revocation of the permit.
In St. Charles County, sheriff’s Lt. Craig McGuire said that while there have been no reports of such infractions there, by its nature a concealed weapon would not be obvious anyway.
- State News
Gov. Nixon declares state of emergency in Missouri
Gov. Jay Nixon today declared a state of emergency in Missouri in response to severe winter weather that began early this morning, bringing hazardous travel and the possibility of power outages.
Party on? No local love in Princeton Review rankings
There's no love for Missouri Southern State University, Pittsburg State University or Crowder College in the new rankings issued by the Princeton Review. Which, given many of the survey categories, isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Publicist: Andy Williams dies
According to a publicist, Emmy-winning TV host and 'Moon River' crooner Andy Williams has died.
Lions climb into share of MIAA men's basketball lead
Without taking the floor, Missouri Southern has climbed into a first-place tie in the MIAA men’s basketball race.
2.6 magnitude earthquake recorded in Oklahoma
The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded a 2.6 magnitude earthquake near Wellston in central Oklahoma.
No injuries or damage is reported.
Audit: $108,000 taken from Missouri Veterans Commission
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A former employee of the state auditor’s office embezzled nearly $108,000 while working as an accountant for the Missouri Veterans Commission, the state auditor alleged Monday.
Stacy Griffin-Lowery was fired by the Veterans Commission in March 2008 and pleaded guilty three months later to a misdemeanor theft charge. She repaid the state $17,665, the auditor’s office said.
But Missouri Auditor Susan Montee on Monday accused Griffin-Lowery of swiping an additional $90,192 by getting reimbursed for cash advances and purchases made on her personal credit card.
Race in Kansas’ 2nd District could heat up for GOP incumbent
TOPEKA, Kan. — A conservative Kansas legislator said Monday he will announce in a few weeks whether he will challenge freshman U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins in the Republican primary.
State Sen. Dennis Pyle’s actions in recent months suggest the Hiawatha farmer, who’s served in the Legislature since 2001, is running against Jenkins in the Aug. 2 primary. He set up a campaign organization in November and has a Web site featuring a brief video of him on his farm, asking viewers for support.
Oklahoma tea party leaders, lawmakers envision militia
OKLAHOMA CITY — Frustrated by recent political setbacks, tea party leaders and some conservative members of the Oklahoma Legislature say they would like to create a new volunteer militia to help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty.
Tea party movement leaders say they’ve discussed the idea with several supportive lawmakers and hope to get legislation next year to recognize a new volunteer force
- Missouri: Senate panel cuts $500 million from proposed budget JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Senate committee declared Thursday that it has sliced more than $500 million from Missouri’s proposed budget for next year — meeting a target set by Gov. Jay Nixon to bring it in balance.
- Kansas: Wichita-area casino in doubt after governor’s decision TOPEKA, Kan. — A proposed casino south of Wichita was in doubt Thursday after Gov. Mark Parkinson refused to grant its developers a regulatory reprieve. Partners in the $225 million Chisholm Creek project wanted to delay a state board’s decision on their plans.
- More State News Headlines
- Gov. Nixon declares state of emergency in Missouri