Conceal-carry permit process starts in area counties

Thursday, March 25, 2004

The sheriff's departments in Bollinger and Perry counties have joined Cape Girardeau County in processing applications for permits to carry a concealed weapon. Scott County plans to start in April.

Bollinger County began issuing permits Tuesday, chief deputy Shawn Davis said. The sheriff's department in Marble Hill, Mo., processed 10 applications the first day and a couple on Wednesday.

"I think people are waiting for the rush to be over before they apply," Davis said. "But there hasn't been a rush."

Perry County's sheriff processed a half-dozen applications Wednesday, the first day the office began accepting them.

The Scott County Sheriff's Department will process applications from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. on weekdays beginning April 1.

Applicants in these counties must bring in their certificate showing proof of firearms training along with the processing fees. Appointments are not necessary.

The Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department is still taking appointments. According to Sgt. Sharon Jones, the department had processed 43 applications for conceal-carry permits as of Wednesday and is booked up with hourly appointments through next Wednesday.

Jones said applications will be taken only by appointment "until it dies down a little bit."

Different fees

Processing fees vary by county. All participating counties require that applicants bring in a money order for $38 made out to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. That covers the cost of fingerprinting and a background check.

In Bollinger and Perry counties, applicants also must bring a check or money order for $62 to cover the cost of the incidental expenses and software and hardware necessary for the processing. In Perry County, the check or money order should be made out to the Perry County Sheriff's Department. In Bollinger County, checks or money orders may be made out to the Bollinger County Sheriff's Revolving Fund. Bollinger County will also accept cash, Davis said.

Cape Girardeau County applicants pay $45 for the processing fee in a check or money order made payable to the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department.

Scott County will not charge anything over the $38 for the highway patrol fingerprinting and background check. Capt. Jerry Bledsoe said the sheriff's office already has the necessary computers and software in place, and the existing staff will absorb the work involved in processing the applications.

Once all the legal questions surrounding conceal-carry are answered, that might change, Bledsoe said.

"We're just going to go right now as we are until we get this thing moving," he said.

lredeffer@semissourian.com

335-6611, ext. 160

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