Matter of Convenience - The Missourian: Opinion

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Matter of Convenience

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Posted: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 6:32 pm

A bill that is advancing in the Missouri Legislature would make county sheriffs responsible for the entire process of issuing conceal and carry permits — including the printing of the actual permit card.

Currently, county sheriffs’ offices review permit applications and issue paper permits to those who meet the qualifications, but the applicant then takes the permit to a license office to obtain a photo ID card noting their concealed-carry endorsement.

The bill would eliminate the Missouri Department of Revenue from the process. It was filed in the wake of the controversy concerning procedural changes by the revenue department over scanning concealed weapons permits as part of the process of obtaining a drivers license.

While that issue has been overblown, removing the Department of Revenue from the process makes sense. It is a simple matter of convenience.

Sheriffs are already responsible for the review process on whether to issue a conceal and carry permit. They do the background checks and make sure the applicant is qualified. They have the final discretion to issue the permit.

Requiring the applicant to then go to a license office to get an endorsement on their current drivers license or a separate photo ID is an unnecessary, time-consuming step in the application process. There also would still be a way under the new law for law enforcement officials to access a centralized data base to verify someone’s conceal and carry status.

It is appropriate that sheriffs handle the entire process, including the actual printing of the conceal and carry card.

When it comes to issuing conceal and carry permits, we believe local authority and local control of every step of the process just makes sense.

/opinion

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