A short briefing on Missouri's CCW (Concealed Carry Weapons) Laws:
The applicant must have a clean criminal record with no felonies of any kind no mater how long ago. He or she cannot have been convicted of a misdemeanor which prohibits the purchase of firearms in Missouri, or a misdemeanor crime of violence in the last five (5) years. Domestic violence is certainly a crime of violence, and as a practical matter, persons with such convictions are forever barred by federal law from possessing a firearm. The applicant cannot have been convicted of two (2) driving while intoxicated charges in the last five (5) years. The statute says driving while intoxicated, not the lesser charge of driving under the influence often used in cases of drug intoxication or when the blood alcohol level cannot be determined. The applicant cannot have been convicted of possessing a controlled substance (they mean drugs) in the last five (5) years. The applicant cannot be charged with any of the above offenses at the time of application.
The applicant cannot have been dishonorably discharged from the military. There are several less than honorable discharges in the military, but only a dishonorable discharge disqualifies the applicant. See the “Prohibited Persons” section at page 79 in MISSOURI WEAPONS AND SELF-DEFENSE LAW.
The statute also prohibits applications by persons adjudged mentally incompetent or committed to a mental health facility in this or any other state. The adjudication or commitment must have been following a hearing at which the defendant was represented by counsel or a representative. The statutes uses the language “or for five years prior to application”. This may indicate that the applicant must have been restored to sanity more than five years prior to application, in any case, it certainly should. As a practical matter, such persons are prohibited under state and federal law from receiving firearms or ammunition.
There is also a provision barring persons who have “engaged in a pattern of behavior, documented in public records, that causes the sheriff to have a reasonable belief that the applicant presents a danger to himself or others. This is the “naked man” provision. A person in the habit of getting naked and howling at the moon may not be dangerous, but may raise questions. A series of restraining orders, transportation for psychiatric observation, or a number of charges for disturbing the peace may raise questions. Anyone exceptionally eccentric or irresponsible can be barred.
The full law can be seen here: MO CCW Law
In addition, the sheriffs (who must approve you) require that you go through psychological and weapons training courses. Of the few people in Missouri who actually have CCW, I haven't met one that I would be scared of. (Not that I've met everyone in the state, but I worked in the licensing part of the DMV.) I'm not saying that the law is fool-proof, because it's not, it's a very good screening process.
To say that EVERYONE would be "packing heat" on the VT campus had that bill been approved is ridiculous. Only those who were approved by the sheriff to be a sound citizen would be legal to carry a gun. Of the people I have met who have CCW, they merely carry it as self-defense; when every other option is gone, that is their LAST route of escape. They are taught not to be aggressive, not to look for a fight and to diffuse the situation before is escalates into violence involving a firearm. I think that 30+ lives would have been saved if VT had a CCW (or LTC) policy in effect.