One year later in Missouri and right-to-carry law is "just another law"

These emotional debates die down so quickly once people realize that the horror stories about the law never came true.

Missouri's concealed gun law essentially has become just another law. "We heard before that bar fights were going to turn into gun fights and all that," said Tim Oliver, a Boone County firearms trainer who runs the concealed guns Web site, LearnToCarry.com. "It just hasn't been a problem anywhere."

Like Oliver, Kansas City attorney Richard Miller isn't aware of major problems caused by Missouri concealed gun permit holders. But that's partly because the names of permit holders are kept secret under the state law. "Is there any proof out there that concealed-carry holders are preventing crimes, which was one of their arguments? We'll never know that," said Miller, one of the attorneys who challenged the constitutionality of the law. "Is there any proof that conceal-carry holders are engaged in criminal activity? We'll never know that, because the permits are closed records."

The statement by Kansas City attorney Richard Miller is misleading because even though the list of permit holders is not publicly released the different police departments and district attorneys will know if someone involved in a shooting has a permit and if so, someone such as Mr. Miller would quickly make it public knowledge.

As of Friday, 15,442 concealed gun background check applications had been submitted to the Highway Patrol, a quarter of the 60,000 first-year applicants the patrol had predicted when the law passed. Only Jefferson County has more than 1,000 permit applicants, although St. Charles and Greene counties are not far behind.

These original estimates were very silly. What happened was that the patrol simply looked at the per capita number of permits in some other states and assumed that would be the rate issued in Missouri. There were two problems with this. 1) In terms of both fees and training requirements and where you can take a concealed handgun, Missouri is extremely restrictive in issuing permits and as I showed in the second edition of More Guns, Less Crime higher fees and particularly longer training periods greatly reduce the number of permits issued. Also it takes many years before everyone who is going to get a permit to do so.

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