Missouri Concealed Carry Permit

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The Auxiliary requires that our commissioned and non-commissioned officers (except potentially Warrant Officers) obtain a Missouri Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permit and driver's license endorsement. This serves two purposes:

  1. it ensures that each permit holder has gone through the background check at the Sheriff's Office
  2. it ensures that each permit holder has a mimimum level of legal and practical firearms training (which will be built on at other levels of training)

Are volunteers required to carry or use firearms?

The Auxiliary is not a tactical unit and volunteers are not generally required to be armed, however, it is one of the Sheriff's requirements that we know how to bear and work safely around firearms when the circumstances require it. If the Sheriff must ever raise a citizen's posse (one of the authorities of a county sheriff) because... say... a prison transport bus overturns and lets a group of dangerous felons loose on the community, he (or she) needs to know there is a pool of pre-screened citizens who can bear arms, know how to work with the Sheriff, and can be expected to take a leadership role in the community response. This is not a likely scenario, but it is one of the responsibilities that the Sheriff and the Auxiliary has to keep in mind.

More probable scenarios involve bearing arms alongside our primary emergency response mission, such as guarding an emergency supply depot and ensuring that all equipment transfers are authorized, escorting search and rescue volunteers in a situation where a child is missing and may have been taken by force, helping patrol an area in a disaster zone where looting has occurred, etc. In these cases, we will be working with deputies to perform a primary emergency response mission which has self-defense aspects.

What if I am not comfortable bearing arms?

The Auxiliary will not require individual volunteers to bear arms or to perform any duty which the volunteer does not believe they may perform safely, or where there are strong objections of conscience. A communications or First Aid specialist, for instance, need not carry a gun if that is something they are not comfortable doing. However, all required volunteers must still obtain a CCW and participate in weapons-related training because the Auxiliary as a whole does deal with self-defense/civil-defense and firearms issues as does, obviously, the Office of the Sheriff. A volunteer must know how to work around weapons, handle them safely when required, and work alongside people who are armed. A volunteer must have some level of training in self-defense law and in how to deal with a potentially violent situation (crisis intervention). That part is not negotiable. Volunteers can still work with the Auxiliary through organizations such as CERT where weapons-training is not required and can still perform support roles without being an Officer or NCO.

If you do have strong objections to carrying/using a weapon, let your immediate superior know and make certain they understand. It will be noted in your record and we will work with you to direct your required training in appropriate ways. If you have problems related to PTSD or similar past experiences, also let us know and we may be able to refer you to people who can help. If, however, you do not feel you can function rationally in a situation where, for instance, we are providing rear-area support for the Sheriff's office in a stand-off or that you can effectively help victims of violence, then perhaps CERT, ARES, SKYWARN, the American Red Cross, Salvation Army or any of the other excellent local community service organizations will be a better fit.

If you want to carry a gun because you think it is cool or because you were not accepted at the Police Academy, please do not apply! The Auxiliary does not provide primary law enforcement or "law enforcement-lite". It is not a militia. We deal with stressful situations where a level-head must be maintained at all times. The respect and trust of the community is essential to our mission.

The CCW process in Missouri is relatively straight-forward. We have a shall-issue process here which means that a qualified applicant shall be issued a CCW within a set time period unless there is a specific reason not to (such as a prior felony conviction or a weapons-related offense within the defined time period).

  1. Find a Missouri CCW-compliant firearms trainer. There are many of them in the local region, particularly in Springfield and surrounds. It is a one-day course with both a classroom and a practical firing range component. It is usually offered stand-alone for between $50 and $100 or along with a more advanced self-defense training seminar. You must pass a written test and a range test with both a semiautomatic handgun and a revolver. With most instructors, you may either bring both weapons (locked!) and ammunition or you may rent one or the other onsite for an additional fee. If you pass, you will be given a certificate as proof-of-training for the Sheriff.
  2. You must take your training certificate to the Sheriff's office (basement of the new Lawrence County Courthouse) to fill out an application and pay a $100 nonrefundable fee. They will have you take a form to the Lawrence County Jail for your fingerprinting (this is now done electronically in Lawrence County--- no ink). After this is completed, the Sheriff will submit your background check paperwork.
  3. When your check is completed, the Sheriff will issue a Certificate Of Qualification. It will take several days for the Certificate of Qualification to also be entered into the Missouri Uniform Law Enforcement System (MULES).
  4. Once your certificate is in the MULES system, you can take it to the DMV to get a CCW-endorsed license or non-driver ID.
  5. Your CCW must be renewed every three years ($50).

The Auxiliary, as with other required training, will attempt to secure group classes and discounts when in order to make it as easy as possible for volunteers to obtain training and certification they need or which will make them more valuable volunteers.