It’s easier to get a concealed weapon license now.

But sheriffs don’t expect a rush from people wanting concealed-carry licenses now that the law has changed.   

Until now, sheriffs did background checks and issued a certificate of qualification.  The gun owner then had to go to the nearest Revenue Department office with appropriate personal documents to get the license.

Executive Director Mike Covington with the Missouri Sheriffs Association says sheriffs can now do all of that work in-house.  The Department of Public Safety has come up with a licensing form that can be downloaded as a PDF file by sheriffs and used for the next four months.  He expects standardized equipment will be in all sheriff offices  in January when new-style permits will be issued.   But the PDF forms issued between now and then will remain valid. 

Sheriffs still have the discretionary authority to refuse to issue a permit.  But the law takes away that discretion on January 1. It says the sheriffs SHALL issue the permits after that. 

AUDIO: Covington interview 4:27