May 27, 2004

Scotland County Will Issue ‘Conceal and Carry’ Permits

With the financial end of the law still up in the air, Scotland County has decided to join other counties in Zone 4 to begin to issue conceal and carry permits to qualifying applicants. The process has been delayed nearly a year by the governor’s veto and ensuing litigation, but the permits will soon be available in Scotland County.

The Scotland County Sheriff’s Department will begin issuing the permits June 1.

“The department has been patiently waiting for the Legislature and the Governor’s Office to fix problems in the newly passed law,” stated Scotland County Sheriff Wayne Winn.

The main problem was with the funding mechanism for the action. Legislation had allowed law enforcement offices to charge up to $100 for the permit process. But legal action stalled the process when opponents of the law questioned the language regarding the law, which appeared to specify that the fee would have to go into the issuing department’s training fund and could not be used to offset the cost of issuing the permit.

The state’s courts saw it differently and lifted a temporary injunction of the law in February. Legislators, including Senator John Cauthorn, indicated they would address the permit fee issue but no new policy was established prior to the state’s representatives and senators heading home for the summer.

In order to bypass the fee issue, Scotland County will simply not charge a fee for the permit process.

“One of the original problems with the bill was that counties could have charged up to $100 for the permit,” Winn said. “The courts have decided that it is unconstitutional for the sheriff’s office to charge a fee, so the decision of this office is going to be that Scotland County will not charge an application fee.”

That does not mean the process will be completely free. Applicants will still be required to pay the $38 cost to the State of Missouri Criminal Records System Fund. This fee pays the cost of the finger printing identification that is required of all applicants and must be performed by the state.

The local policy is consistent with a number of neighboring counties. Knox, Lewis, Shelby and Rall counties will follow the same procedure. The guidelines were established at a Zone 4 meeting of county law enforcement officials earlier this month. Clark, Monroe and Marion counties, the remainder of Zone 4, were not represented at the meeting, however Winn noted that Marion County has since indicated it will follow the same procedure.

“These counties agreed not to charge a fee and to try and keep the application process as uniform as possible,” Winn said.

When the process begins June 1, applicants will need to make an appointment with the sheriff’s department. The appointments will only be made for Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. All Tuesdays, and the first Wednesday of each month will be closed for appointments due to court dates.

Applicants must provide official certification or valid proof of completion of the required firearms training. A list of certified trainers may be obtained from the department.

To obtain a permit locally, individuals must show proper identification, be at least 23 years of age, be a United States citizen, and a resident of Scotland County. They must be mentally competent and can not be a fugitive from justice.

Applicants must submit a cashier’s check or money order for $38 payable to the State of Missouri Criminal Records System Fund to pay for the required fingerprinting.

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