The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) today criticized a ruling by Cole County, Missouri Circuit Judge Thomas Brown that St. Louis County can refuse to issue concealed pistol licenses to county residents because the law places what Brown said is an unconstitutional cost on county government.

“Judge Brown is asserting that the Constitution allows the government to deny the citizens of St. Louis County their constitutional right to bear arms,” said SAF Founder Alan Gottlieb. “That is patently absurd, considering that other counties in Missouri have found the means to issue concealed pistol licenses to their citizens. Surely this ruling should be appealed.”

An appeal is apparently under consideration by Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon. Last February, the State Supreme Court upheld the right of the Legislature to pass a law allowing concealed carry, but did specify that under some circumstances, the statute’s funding mechanism might face legal problems.

“This case has less to do with the law and more to do with anti-gun bigotry in St. Louis County, and county know it,” Gottlieb stated. “They’re using funding as an excuse to suspend the Missouri Constitution at the county line. If this were an case dealing with any issue other than gun rights, the civil libertarians and community activists would be crawling out from under every rock in the Show Me State to demand action. But because this deals with gun rights, not to mention the right of self-defense, those same socially-bigoted do-gooders are nowhere to be found.

“Administrators and sheriffs in other counties are meeting the obligations of the law without denying anyone’s rights or breaking their budgets,” Gottlieb said. “What’s so peculiar about St. Louis County’s funding structure that Judge Brown thinks they deserve a pass when almost everywhere else in Missouri, they are following the law? This ruling needs to be appealed and overturned, and the sooner the better for the citizens whose self-defense rights appear to be subject to the anti-gun whims of officials who just cannot accept the fact that a law they opposed has been passed and upheld. It’s time for them to get over it, end this legal melodrama and allow their constituents the full protection of Missouri’s constitutional right to bear arms.”

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