Missouri sheriff drops concealed carry fees, citing "instability in the world"

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

At a time when many jurisdictions in anti-gun locales like California are charging citizens more than $1,000 to obtain a concealed carry license, it’s great to see this announcement from Bates County, Missouri Sheriff Chad Anderson.


Typically, it costs $100 to apply for a carry license in Bates County, which is already far lower than what we’re seeing in California and New York, but on Tuesday evening Sheriff Anderson announced that he’s suspending those fees in light of the “instability in the world”.

In light of the instability around the world, beginning 10/10/23 the Bates County Sheriff’s Office is waiving any fee associated with CCW Licensing for Bates County Residence through the end of 2023. Again, you MUST be a resident of Bates County, have already successfully completed an approved CCW class with an approved CCW Instructor and submit your fingerprints for a complete background check.
On January 1st of 2017 Missouri became the 11th state to pass Constitutional Carry to allow residents to carry a concealed firearm without advanced training, background checks or a permit. Some would say the passing of Constitutional Carry negated the need for CCW in general. While this is true for Missouri residents who travel within the state Missouri’s Constitutional Carry does not allow a Missouri resident to travel outside the state while carrying a concealed firearm. The CCW process protects your rights while traveling across the country into those states that are a reciprocal to the concealed carry process.
Today, as I watch the unrest across the globe and inside the United States in relation to the terrorist attacks in Israel and the compromised open southern border, I feel that it’s my duty as Sheriff to help my citizens protect themselves no matter where they are in this country. So now until the end of the year, if you have taken your class and have put off getting your license because of the $100 fee please feel free to make an appointment with my Assistant Jennifer to process your application.
I have always been very Pro-Second Amendment and feel that you have a God Given Right and obligation to protect yourself and your family. You can do the math on the border entries and realize that there is no way our government can properly vet everyone that is caught coming across due to the simple fact that many of the countries of origin do not share their criminal databases with the US. This does not include the unknown amount of Got Aways. We are in an unprecedented time in our history and you need to realize that law enforcement can not be everywhere all the time.
I will continue to pray for peace for our country and continue to strive to do my part to help you be safe and secure while you are in Bates County. I can assure you that the men and women of the Bates County Sheriff’s Office are here for you.
I’m sure anti-gun activists will complain that Anderson is pandering to gun owners and voters in the rural county, which is one of many Republican strongholds in the state. Last year Republican congressman Mark Alford racked up 80% of the vote in Bates County en route to a crushing victory over Democrat Jack Truman, so I have no doubt that Anderson’s waiving of the application fees is going to get a warm reception in the country.
While anti-gunners might view this as pandering, I prefer to think of it as virtue-signaling on the part of the sheriff; reminding Bates County residents that exercising their right to keep and bear arms is indeed a virtuous activity, not a social ill or scurrilous activity that should be suppressed as much as possible. As the sheriff notes, Missouri’s status as a constitutional carry state means that lawful gun owners don’t need the sheriff’s permission to carry their firearm for protection, but even if few residents avail themselves of the opportunity to get a carry license Anderson’s decision should be applauded by Second Amendment supporters and replicated by licensing authorities across the country.

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