“We’re just basically down to just a handful of permits,” explained Jasper County Sheriff Randee Kaiser.
But that wasn’t how 2016 started at the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office. It was a big increase in concealed carry permits.
“February of 2016 if you compare to February of 2015, more than doubled. You see the exact opposite of that spectrum in the last four to five months of the year because of the new conceal and carry laws,” Sheriff Kaiser added.
Also known as Constitutional Carry, Senate Bill 656 allowed most gun owners to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. It went into effect January 1st and is already making an impact at Joplin gun shop Razor’s Edge Tactical.
“The new concealed carry law for Missouri, we’ve seen a lot of increase in hand gun sales,” said Brandon Kelley of Razor’s Edge Tactical.
Which helped to wipe out the uncertainty owner Brandon Kelley felt during the presidential campaign.
“Coming into 2017, I wasn’t sure we’d still be in business over the next four years,” Kelley explained.
It could build on what was already a growing trend. FBI background checks for Missouri gun sales increased 8% last year. Kelley is hoping it’s a trend that will carry on through the year, but adds he’d like to see more gun owners signing up for the permit training.
“We still want people to be educated and safely carry their firearms,” said Kelley.
And this doesn’t mean concealed carry permits are finished. Gun owners in Missouri can carry their firearms in certain other states, if they have that permit.