Following the Orlando massacre that left 49 dead and 53 wounded, one Missouri sheriff has taken a step to help arm more law abiding citizens — by temporarily waiving the fees normally associated with obtaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
The Bates County Sheriff’s Office announced the incentive through its Facebook page Monday, after what the department referred to as “continued attacks against Americans on American soil.”
“I feel that I have a Duty to Protect the Citizens while here in Bates County and allow them to be able to protect themselves and their loved ones while they are away,” said Bates County Sheriff Chad Anderson. “I will continue to pray for peace for our country and the world. But I will not put blinders on and act like this can not happen here or to people we know and love.”
The concealed carry permits offered by the sheriff’s office are valid for five years and normally cost $100. That fee will be waived through the month of June and part of July. Applicants can also take the required training class through the sheriff’s office for free.
Classes are limited to 30 people, but if more sign up, they are placed on a waiting list for the next available class. Less than 24 hours after the sheriff’s office announced free carry permits, the July 9 class was filled. Those who didn’t get into the class were instructed to check back with the department’s Facebook page for the announcement of future classes.
The offer for a free concealed carry permit is only valid for individuals residing in Bates County, which is located about 60 miles outside of Kansas City, and proof of residence is required. However, a number of out-of-county residents responded to the announcement with hopes that their local sheriff’s offices will follow suit.