Sheriff’s offices in Missouri will handle all concealed carry weapons permit applications starting on Aug. 28. State lawmakers stripped the department of revenue of the authority to handle applications after an investigation revealed that the private information of more than 100,000 gun owners was shared with the federal government.
The Missouri legislature passed a measure earlier this year that requires those applying for a CCW permit to go directly to their local sheriff’s office instead of their driver’s license facility. The General Assembly set aside several million dollars to pay for machines and other items to produce the CCW permits in each of Missouri’s 114 counties.
Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond believes the new method will restore trust in the entire application process. “While we will have a clearing house among all sheriffs that will be accessible to law enforcement doing investigations on individual people, the information will reside with the individual sheriffs. There will not be a location where a list of all applications or card holders across the state will be available for release.” According to state law, any unauthorized release of records is a misdemeanor.
Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade talk with Bond:
About three percent of the population in Pettis County has concealed carry permits.
Saline County Sheriff Wally George said processing applications at the local level is the best way to protect the hundreds of permit holders in his jurisdiction. “I average 20 [permits] a month. Since the beginning of the CCW permits, my total count is 1,006 folks who have them in Saline County.”
Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade talk with George:
Although application process will be slightly more work for sheriff’s offices, neither Bond nor George believed they would have to add another employee to their payrolls in the immediate future. George estimates that it takes about 15 minutes to process one application.
Residents are encouraged to wait to get a permit at this time, because the document will only be valid for three years. After Aug. 28th, CCW permits will be good for five years.