A bill that gun rights supporters says will change when and how law abiding citizens can exercise their second amendment rights could soon be law.

Constitutional carry is a law that will allow Missourians legally able to own a firearm to conceal and carry that firearm, without the benefit of a conceal and carry weapons (CCW) permit, anywhere carrying isn’t prohibited by law in Missouri.

Constitutional carry may soon become the law in Missouri, if Gov. Jay Nixon signs it into law. The bill (SB 656) was passed on the final day of the 2016 legislative session. it greatly expands Missourians’ rights to carry concealed weapons, as well as their right to stand against other threats.

Missourians already had the right to open carry, unless local municipalities had specific ordinances restricting it. In instances where there were ordinances prohibiting open carry, a CCW permit circumvented those ordinances and individuals could still carry a weapon open or concealed, according to Missouri Revised Statute 21.750.1 in most cases. However, there are places even a CCW holder is not allowed to carry such as such as sheriff and Highway Patrol stations, schools, airports, bars, churches and a number of other places that are prohibited by Missouri or federal law.

Another important change, under the new law when it is signed, is the “Stand Your Ground” provisions. Under these provisions, a person is able to use force without retreating first if they are somewhere they are legally allowed to be. The law will also extend the protection from lawsuits of using deadly force defending home and property against intruders to guests of homeowners.

“Rest assured, the sheriff’s office will enforce the law, if and when it is made law. As of now, we will continue to enforce the existing law which prohibits carrying a concealed weapon without a permit,” Camden County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Scott Hines said. ” As far as the provisions for “Stand Your Ground”… that is also a part of the proposed legislation that, if made law, will be enforced in accordance with all other state statutes. What is most important for anyone who chooses to carry a firearm to remember is that if you make the decision to draw your weapon and if it is necessary to fire it, your life will change forever.” Regardless of the situation, whether there are grounds for criminal charges or not, there will be civil litigation that may take years to be settled, Hines said.

“We would encourage anyone who wants to carry a firearm to attend a concealed carry permit class. In addition to the classes concentration on concealed carry law, much of the content has to do with justifiable use of a firearm and when it may be appropriate to do so,” he said.”And as with all persons who legally carry firearms, we also encourage those wishing to do so to spend time at a firing range, practicing fundamental marksmanship skills and familiarization with weapons.”