Missouri’s legislature says decision over lowering concealed carry age will wait until next session.

One of the measures before Missouri's legislature was to lower…

One of the measures before Missouri’s legislature was to lower the legal age for carrying a concealed weapon from age 23 to age 21.

A small change that’s sparking a debate.

Terry Ray of Columbia keeps his gun on him all the time.  He said he doesn’t think there is much of a difference in the maturity level between someone who’s 21 and someone who’s 23.  “You can ask men who are 18 years old to go defend your country. Why can you then turn around and say, no we’re not going to let you defend yourself,” said Ray.

Ray says there’s no downside in lowering the age limit and it offers more people an opportunity to protect themselves.

But Democratic Senator Robin Wright-Jones of St. Louis City said if more people are allowed to carry a gun, it makes citizens less safe. She’s concerned people going to sporting events and other big gatherings will keep guns in their cars.

Wright-Jones says criminals know this, and will break into cars to get easy access to the weapons.

“Residents are coming into the city with weapons in their cars. So again, you have a whole nother source of weapons to be used on the streets,” said Jones.

About two-thirds of states offer concealed weapon permits to people who are at least 21.

Mike O’Dell a salesperson for Target Masters, a gun store and firing range in Columbia says some 21- and 22-year-old Missourians get around state law by applying for permits in other states.

“At the age of 21 you can open carry, but in Missouri you can’t conceal-carry,” said O’Dell.  “Well, if you go through loopholes of the different state non-resident permits you can.”

Columbia Democratic Representative Chris Kelly doesn’t think being able to carry a gun makes a person safer, but he said it is a constitutional right.  “The whole theory that you’re safer because you carry a firearm I think, is inaccurate. But the question isn’t whether they’re safer, it’s whether they have a right to do so,” claims Kelly.

For Terry Ray having the option to conceal and carry is comforting.

Ray is 62 years old, and would not be affected by the legislation.  However he says any responsible adult should be allowed to carry a gun.

“You never know when that one time will come up that your life is threatened and that you’d like to have an option of either not pulling your gun and defending yourself, or pulling your gun and defending yourself. And if you don’t carry, you don’t have that option,” said Ray.

Anyone applying for a conceal and carry permit must go through several of steps.

They include background checks, an eight-hour course and fees that go along with the permit.

While this more lenient conceal and carry bill passed in the House, it never got on the Senate’s debate calendar for this legislative session.

Source: Sara Randolph for KMOX.

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  • Corey

    I agree with the idea of making the conceal and carry law to the same age of acquiring a pistol, its asinine to make a age seperation between conceal and carry and having a pistol at 21, if someone isn’t mature or able to properly operate a firearm at 21 or 18, it will not make a difference if they wait another two years. Also people will still illegally carry and commit crimes with firearms regardless of this passing, preventing an individual who will abide to laws and not commit crimes only makes it more detremental for those right citizens. I am 19, I own several firearms, once im 21 I will be purchasing a handgun. I know for a certain that waiting two more years won’t make me any less respectful and have proper reverence for firearms. If I am not willing to commit crimes with firearms (better yet any crimes in general) what will waiting two years change? Besides thinking about the gratuity of waiting two years. Heck I’d be more worried about having a handgun and having it exposed for someone to try to steal it from me, rather than not knowing I have one in the first place. One of the only laws and regulations I wish existed for purchasing a firearm is that you have to take a hunter safety course of firearm safety course to purchase firearms. I feel this way because I have a freind who is a complete moron when it comes to guns and he bought a rifle on a whim after he borrowed a shotgun of mine when we had an event and shot clay birds. He has no freaking idea on how to operate, clean, manage a gun, he doesnt hunt or even has the sincere commitment to respect and learn proper methods of firearms, and with this freind of mine I have derived that opinion. He’s a idot, and can buy a firearm without proper training, Lets take away this stupid two year exorbitant wait. And at the same time make it a requirement to least learn how to be safe with a gun before buying one. Also we need to stop blamming the tools of crimes and blame the backgrounds that create them, irresponsibility, poverty and other incentives are the origins of the problem of firearm crimes, not the gun themselves. Hopefully people feel the same way.