Missouri on Wednesday joined a growing list of states allowing most adults to carry concealed weapons without a permit, as the state’s Republican-led Legislature used its supermajority to loosen existing gun laws.
The measure, described by supporters as “constitutional carry,” allows people to carry hidden guns anywhere they can currently carry weapons openly, effective January 1. Missouri will join 10 other states with laws that allow most people to carry concealed guns even if they haven’t gone through the training required for permits, according to the National Rifle Association, which supported the legislation.
The legislation also would create a “stand-your-ground” right, meaning people don’t have a duty to retreat from danger any place they are legally entitled to be present. The NRA says 30 states have laws or court precedents stating people have no duty to retreat from a threat anywhere they are lawfully present. But Missouri’s measure makes it the first new “stand-your-ground” state since 2011.
It also expands the “castle doctrine” by allowing invited guests such as baby sitters to use deadly force if confronted in homes.
The guns legislation prompted some of the most intense debate Wednesday. Democrats asserted it could put racial minorities at a greater risk of being fatally shot.