- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) - Gun sales in Missouri are seeing a spike while the number of permit applications fall, thanks to a new law that no longer requires residents to have a permit when carrying a concealed firearm.

The number of permit applications in Jasper County has dropped a total of 94 percent after the Legislature moved to get rid of the concealed-carry permit requirement in May, The Joplin Globe (https://bit.ly/2jUsKcD ) reports. Permits are still available to gun owners wanting to travel to other states with different rules or those who want gun safety education.

In order to get a permit, residents have to pass a background check and undergo eight hours of firearms training. The FBI still conducted 8 percent more background checks on would-be gun owners last year than in 2015, a record high in Missouri, according to agency statistics.

Liberty Tree gun shop owner Eli Bruton says sales were strong this holiday season.

Bruton said the decline in permits “hasn’t affected (sales) negatively, and it might have affected it positively.”

Jasper County sheriff Randee Kaiser was a proponent of the permits.

“One of the values of the permit system was that it required people to get training and education and a little bit of hands-on experience with their gun,” he said.

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Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, https://www.joplinglobe.com

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