The Columbia Daily Tribune
Local concealed-weapons class trains 30
By JOHN SULLIVAN of the Tribune’s staff
Published Sunday, October 5, 2003
Columbia resident Jackie Kreigh could be among the first civilians in Boone County to legally carry a hidden handgun.
"I used to have a business in which I’d have to make bank deposits after 11 o’clock at night, and that’s the time when you’re extremely vulnerable," she said. "I always thought that" a handgun "would have been something that I would have liked to have had at those times."
Under the concealed-weapons law that goes into effect next Saturday, Kreigh, the wife of Boone County sheriff’s Detective Ken Kreigh, will be allowed to carry a handgun in her clothing or hidden in her car.
In preparation for that change, Kreigh joined about 30 other local residents in the first concealed-weapons certification course in Boone County.
Other participants included a state legislator, Rep. Larry Crawford, R-California, and family members of Sen. Harold Caskey, D-Butler. Crawford and Caskey were two of the key sponsors of the new bill. Caskey, who is legally blind, did not participate in the course, though his son did. Crawford completed the course with his wife, Donna Crawford.
"I know that the people who took this course have far more training on the concealed-carry law than people in many other states," Crawford said, explaining that other states don’t require as much instruction on live firearms use, the use of deadly force and other aspects of the conceal-and-carry law.
Convened yesterday at Cedar Creek Rod and Gun Club near Millersburg, the eight-hour, "Learn to Carry" course will enable those who successfully finish to apply for concealed-weapon permits from their county sheriff’s departments.
Several other Missouri counties have begun offering the course, including Audrain County, which offers it through its sheriff’s department. Boone County sheriff’s Maj. O.J. Stone said his department might offer the course in the future.
Stone said his office has approved four training course curricula in Boone County that certify individuals for the permit. Any number of certified firearms instructors are able to use the curricula upon approval of their credentials, Stone said.
The course at the gun club yesterday cost $125 per person and consisted of six hours of class time and two hours of firearms training on a shooting range. Classes included instruction on gun safety and use and a review of state laws pertaining to carrying firearms.
Columbia attorney Gary Stamper instructed the group on the legal aspects of the new law, which bars anyone with a violent criminal record or mental health problem from getting a permit.
It will take time for law enforcement officials to become accustomed to the new gun laws, said Tim Oliver, the chief instructor and operator of "Learn to Carry." Concealed-gun permit holders should be especially careful about where they place their hands during a highway stop by an officer, he said.
"The best place for your hands is on the steering wheel in plain view," he said.
Gun carriers should comply with an officer’s every request during a routine traffic stop. If officers request the gun, the owner of the weapon should ask the officers if they would like to remove it for them, he said.
"What’s going to get this statute killed is having hostile interactions with law enforcement," Oliver cautioned.
Maryann Gates, co-owner of the Cedar Creek Rod and Gun Club, said the new law would offer her an extra safety option when driving or walking alone at night.
Michael McNamara photo
Rep. Larry Crawford, R-California, fires a revolver at a concealed-weapons class yesterday at Cedar Creek Rod and Gun Club. A provision in the law requires permit holders to be proficient in using revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. Crawford sponsored the new gun law.
Copyright © 2003 The Columbia Daily Tribune. All Rights Reserved.
SECOND THOUGHTS: This article about a training program for concealed weapons should have said that courses were taught Saturday in Boone County at Cedar Creek Rod & Gun Club and Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club.