If you carry concealed, you’re likely to have an experience where a member of the public sees your firearm and gets scared. What should you do if someone sees your firearm in public and reacts negatively?
First, don’t get excited. If you react to their panic with your own sense of alarm, it will only make the situation worse.
Remain calm and provide a reassuring demeanor.
Second, if your firearm was accidentally displayed, re-conceal your firearm. If the person calls you out, continue to remain calm and don’t get defensive. You may say something like, “It’s okay,” or “Don’t worry, I’m a permit holder.” In Missouri, legal firearm holders who are not otherwise prohibited by law have a right to carry in most public areas under Missouri’s permitless carry law. If you have your concealed carry permit (or “CCW”), you have expanded rights.
For a full list of prohibited places, look online and see the Missouri revised statutes, section 571.107.1.
Keep calm and carry on
Let’s say you’re in a grocery store; a store where there’s no signage prohibiting firearms. You’re checking out and realize the person behind you sees your firearm. The person says audibly, “Is that a gun?” You pull your coat down and present a reassuring demeanor. “Was that a gun?” The person repeats. You turn briefly and provide a reassuring smile. “My concealed firearm? Don’t worry, I’m legal to carry. It’s for safety.” You continue to pay for your groceries and go on your way.
Additional Protection for permit holders
Missouri concealed permit holders have an additional protection. If you accidentally carry into a prohibited place, you are not guilty of a crime. You could be asked to leave; if you refuse, cited for trespassing. The maximum fine is $100 for a first offense.
Know the law. Carry with confidence and always keep your cool.