JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KTTN/AP) — New laws ranging from an overhaul of the state’s criminal code to a measure that will allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit will take effect in Missouri Sunday. Here’s a breakdown of some of the new laws:
Most adults will be able to carry concealed weapons without needing a permit. The law, passed by the Republican-led Legislature this year despite a veto by outgoing Gov. Jay Nixon, would also expand the state’s “castle doctrine,” which permits homeowners to use deadly force against intruders. The revised law will allow invited guests, such as babysitters, to use lethal force.
While you may now conceal carry without a permit, the Gallatin, Missouri police department in a Facebook post Sunday morning, is reminding people that there are still restrictions where weapons may not be carried.
As of January 1, 2017, new laws go into effect regarding concealed carry in Missouri. Please train, practice and use common sense when using your right to carry a firearm. The information below is no substitute for a professional training course but may help you make wise deviations if you decide to carry a firearm.
These are the 17 prohibited places where no one can carry without permission of owners or managers:
1) police, sheriff, and highway patrol offices
2) within 20 feet of a polling place on election day
3) into an adult or juvenile detention or correctional facility
4) into any courthouse or building used by a court
5) any government meeting including the state legislature
6) government-owned buildings, except for public housing
8) airports with TSA offices
9) anyplace prohibited under federal law, like post offices
10) into any school or college
11) into any childcare facility
12) into a casino;
13) into a gated amusement park;
14) any church
15) into any private property conspicuously posted off-limits to concealed firearms
16) any sports arena or stadium seating more than 5000 people
17) into any hospital accessible to the public
The measure also would create a “stand-your-ground” right, meaning people no longer would need to retreat from danger before shooting in any place they are legally entitled to be present.
National Rifle Association spokeswoman Nicole Waugh said in an email that the new laws will make Missouri safer and allow law-abiding gun owners to carry firearms and protect themselves.
Opponents argue the opposite.
“Now there will be people among us when we’re out with our kids who are carrying concealed firearms without any training at all. Some of them could be dangerous people,” said Becky Morgan, leader of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “That’s just our new reality.”
The first comprehensive overhaul of Missouri’s criminal laws since 1979 will finally take effect, two years after lawmakers passed the changes in 2014.
The 600-page revision of the criminal code reduces possible prison sentences for some nonviolent drug crimes, and jail time will no longer be a possibility for first-time offenders convicted of possessing less than 10 grams of marijuana. Possessing up to 35 grams of the drug was punishable by up to a year in prison under the previous criminal code.
“The smaller amounts are not what we need to be concerned with,” said state Sen. Bob Dixon, a Springfield Republican who helped draft the legislation.
Also under the bill, people who drive while intoxicated or sexually abuse their family members would face harsher prison sentences than under current law.
Other changes include more options for sentencing in felony cases.
A new misdemeanor class also will be enacted that won’t include jail time as a possibility. Crimes that fall under that category include driving with a suspended or revoked license.
Missouri Bar President Dana Tippin Cutler said the overhaul “will make better use of taxpayer funds.”
Critics say the proposal did not receive enough vetting. Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon allowed it to pass into law without his signature.
Welfare and health-related laws
The Department of Social Services will contract with a private company to check welfare recipients’ eligibility for benefits, including food stamps, child care, Medicaid and cash welfare payments. The law calls for a private company to flag questionable cases for state employees to review further. It would still be up to agency staff to make a final determination of eligibility.
Health insurers will be required to cover “medically necessary” mental and physical treatment of eating disorders provided by licensed experts under another new law. The goal is to ensure families have access to care for not just the physical aspects of eating disorders, but also the underlying mental issues.
Another law adds “bubble boy disease” to a list of conditions infants are screened for in Missouri. Severe combined immunodeficiency affects about one in 50,000 live births. It impairs the immune system, making infants susceptible to infections. Screenings will only take place if lawmakers set aside enough money for tests.