As permitless carry continues to gain steam across the U.S., here’s a story we noticed out of Missouri:
On September 3, a man wearing a loaded gun in his pants waistband accidentally shot himself in a University City grocery store. The man, who was hit in the leg, survived. A fellow shopper was wounded by debris from the blast.
Missouri is one of 12 states that has enacted a permitless carry law. Since January 1, residents have been able to carry concealed guns without permits in most public places.
States that do require a permit to carry a loaded weapon require prospective carriers to undergo a background check and some firearms training, though standards for that training vary widely. Critics of permitless carry say that removing such requirements creates an opportunity for individuals not proficient with guns to carry, creating a public safety risk.
The Trace’s Jennifer Mascia called up the University City police department to ask if the man who shot himself had a permit. According to Bureau Commander Frederick Lemons, he did not.
“In the state of Missouri, you would not need a concealed carry permit to carry a gun in public,” Lemons said.
The man was charged with discharging a firearm in a public place.
“Personally, I don’t see why you would ever need to bring a gun grocery shopping or any place else,” Michael Yarbrough, a customer at the grocery store where the shooting occurred, told local news. The produce aisle, in his words, “is not some place you’d need to protect yourself.”