Anyone hear any news on this? I'm guessing it's not good, or there would have been an "Alright!" post already.
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A St. Louis judge began hearing arguments Thursday on whether to grant a permanent injunction blocking a state law that would allow certain Missourians to carry concealed weapons.
The hearing comes 13 days after Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer granted a temporary injunction, a day before Missouri's concealed weapons law was scheduled to take effect. Ohmer cited unresolved constitutional concerns, prompting Thursday's hearing.
It wasn't immediately clear how soon Ohmer would rule on the request for a permanent injunction. Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon and lawyers for the plaintiffs agreed that regardless of the outcome, a direct appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court is likely.
Ohmer on Thursday granted a motion from the National Rifle Association to enter the case. "This is an important case. This court welcomes as much information as it can achieve," Ohmer said.
Representatives of sheriffs departments in Jackson, Greene and Camden counties testified about the costs associated with administering the law, which calls on county sheriffs to approve or deny requests for permits.
Jackson County Capt. Phil Moran said his Kansas City area department will ask lawmakers for additional money -- about $150,000 -- to cover the expense. He said the department will need to hire additional staff to handle concealed guns requests.
Those applying for concealed weapons pay a $100 fee -- $38 of which goes to the state for fingerprinting, and $62 to the county for processing. Moran said that isn't enough.
But officials with Greene and Camden counties told the judge the additional burden would create no financial hardship. Camden County Sheriff John Page said existing staff would work some overtime to handle the additional workload.
"I believe the fees will be more than sufficient to process the applications," Page said.
The law -- enacted when the state Legislature overrode Gov. Bob Holden's veto last month -- would allow Missourians at least age 23 who pay $100 and pass criminal background checks and training courses to get permits from their county sheriffs to carry concealed guns. It also would allow anyone 21 or older to conceal a gun in a vehicle without need of a permit.
Opponents sued in St. Louis on such claims that the law violated a Missouri Constitution provision dating to 1875 that guarantees the right to bear arms and adds, "but this shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons."
Ohmer cited that clause in his initial ruling, saying it cast enough doubt on the law's constitutionality that it warranted review.
Burton Newman, a St. Louis attorney for the plaintiffs, also considers the conceal-and-carry measure illegal because the Legislature has not appropriated funds to cover new services required for permits to be issued, including costs of paperwork, labor and fingerprinting by sheriffs.
And Newman considers the law simply too vague -- including about exactly where a gun in a vehicle can be kept -- and blind to voter rejection of Proposition B, a 1999 referendum on concealed weapons.
Nixon's office, which defended the law's constitutionality, has claimed that the questioned constitutional clause was a "reservation" -- not an absolute prohibition on lawmakers passing concealed-guns laws, which now exist in 44 states.
In its legal brief Monday, Nixon wrote that "plaintiffs seek this unprecedented judicial intrusion armed with nothing more than a single, inapposite phrase from the Missouri Constitution. Having wholly failed to carry their burden," the lawsuit's claims "must fail," he argued.
"Missourians have enjoyed the constitutional right to bear arms for nearly two centuries, and Missouri courts have zealously protected that right," Nixon wrote.
The National Rifle Association argued in a "friend of the court" brief Monday that the clause Ohmer cited in issuing the temporary injunction does not block the state Legislature from letting Missourians carry concealed guns.
From: Tim Oliver
Date: 10/23/2003 8:29:14 PM
Subject: The Battle is Joined - Update #1
For widest possible distribution
I just talk to the head of our legal team. He said the hearing went very well. Today's court session went from 1 o'clock till 7:30 pm.
All of our witnesses testified and evidence went into the court record. The NRA was allowed in with their Amicus (friend of the court) Brief. The judge took the issue under advisement (meaning he wants to think about it a while). He said he would rule by Nov. 1st. He may rule before that, but he said by Nov. 1st.
The opposition's argument seemed to center around the anti's "Right to be free of people carrying concealed weapons". I don't remember that being a "Right" ever mentioned in any government class I took in school. I will report further after I talk to the other people who witnessed the proceedings.
Thanks for the info guys. Man, this is becoming a real nail biter!
Thanks for the update, I've been coming here to find out how it's been going.
So far, nothing.
Steven R. (leftist dick muncher) Ohmer stated we is not releasing anything yet, is going to study the issue and issue a written verdict at a later, undisclosed, date.
So there we have it, the leftist are stalling as long as they possibly can, probably trying to think of any possible excuse they can to deny the legal process of law in missouri.
A side thought, what if one of those two escaped murderer kills someone while this law is in review, could you imagine the next of kin suing the hell out of the leftists that have held this up? Maybe even that worthless judge for frivolously issuing an injunstion where there were no actual grounds present?
Better side thought: One of the plaintiffs is the victim!