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Editorial: Swingle making good use of new gun law

Monday, September 29, 2003

Illustrating the point that Missouri's new concealed-weapons law is one of the most strict in the nation and actually contains some protective provisions, Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle sent out a memo with a strong endorsement of one section.

A portion of the law, which goes into effect Oct. 11, elevates the crime of possessing a firearm while intoxicated from a class B misdemeanor to a class D felony, punishable by one day in county jail to four years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.

Swingle sent his memo to area law enforcement leaders, saying the change makes sense, and he intends to "vigorously" prosecute such cases. "Driving while intoxicated is a very dangerous activity," he said. "But possession of a firearm while intoxicated is even more dangerous."

He hopes the new law will make concealed-weapons holders think twice before taking their guns along while heading out for a drink. With the publicity his memo received in the local media, that outcome is probably a good bet.


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