New Handgun Law
By: CJ Cassidy
Buying a handgun just got easier in the Show Me State.
You no longer need a permit for one. It's all part of a new law dubbed the Castle Doctrine.
People's opinions on the new law vary.
Many Heartland residents own guns and many of them say the law is long overdue. Police though are not so thrilled.
Officers spend hours on the shooting range just to qualify to carry a gun.
So, small wonder, some of them aren't pleased about a new law that lets you buy a handgun without a permit from the sheriff's department.
"The sheriff usually knows when a citizen is habitually intoxicated or has a drug condition. He or she may not have convictions but you could have a guy constantly in trouble or a drunkard. He can go get a gun now. That's not going to show up on a federal check," said Lt. David James with the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department.
Shooters gun store manager Rowedy Enderle is confident an FBI check over the phone would be enough to decide who gets the green light to buy a handgun.
"I get three answers. Proceed - they can buy a gun. Delayed - wait a few days or denied- can't buy a gun," he explained.
The process works for Patricia Mcfarlane.
As a physician, she couldn't find the time to apply for a permit, so she waited for the new law to pass before buying a handgun.
Enderle says customers like Mcfarlane will help handgun sales "shoot up."
"If a person lies on these forms, they've committed a felony," Enderle said gesturing to the forms a buyer must fill out.
That's still not an argument you'll sell some police on.
"I don't know if the crime rate's going to go up, but it takes the sheriff's ability to protect the community away, because we may know people who just don't need a gun. We no longer have no control of that," James said.
Under the new law, private citizens can also sell handguns to one another without a permit or check from the sheriff's department.