The state supreme court says the concealed weapons law is constitutional but four counties do not have to recognize it. The legislature passed it a year ago; the governor vetoed it; the legislature enacted the law over his veto. The state supreme court says it is constitutional. It rejects claims the law is unconsititutionally vague. And it says the 1999 statewide vote that defeated a concealed weapons proposal has no bearing on the action of the legislature last year. The ruling says, in effect, that a citizen vote is not the final word forever…that it doe snot preclude the legislature from taking any action in the future. However, the court says the fees the state is allowing counties to charge might not be adequate to pay the costs that sheriff’s incur to process applications. The court says that is a violation of the Hancock amendment which forbids the state from forcing counties to incur additional costs unless the state picks up those expenses. The court says four counties have made their cases on that point. Therefore, says the court, the concealed weapons law is not in effect in Jackson, Cape Girardeau, Greene, and Camden Counties. And it says other counties can take legal action to exempt themselves if they can show the state is not making up their costs. The legislature has time to resolve the issue during this session.

Missouri Supreme Court opinion.

AUDIO: Oral argument before Missouri Supreme Court.