Christmas? Hell, that’s nuthin’. You can forget Easter, Independence Day, Yom Kippur and Thanksgiving, too. In St. Louis, the one high holiday that trumps them all is Opening Day, which is today. The city’s a sea of red, with plenty of thinly-veiled, lamely transparent excuses for playing hooky proffered all across Cardinal Nation this afternoon as fans figure ways to skate out of work and catch the birds versus hated Cincinnati. If you’re lucky enough to have tickets, though, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson has some advice for you . . .

“You can’t take your gun into the ballpark, even if you have a concealed carry permit you can’t take your gun into the ballpark. Don’t even bring your gun down and leave it locked in your car.”

Huh? We get that, like all MLB stadia, Busch is a gun-free zone. Ostensibly. But what’s that car thing?

“Unfortunately, there is a portion of the segment of the population that looks for people who leave their concealed carry in the car and then, in the second or third inning when people are enjoying the game, they go and break the window in the car and perhaps steal the gun.”

Isn’t that what car safes are for? And, you know, cops? But there’s good news. No one really has to worry about crime in or around the ballpark. Just ask the chief.

“Unless you’re engaged in a lifestyle that’s going to put you at risk, you’re not going to be the victim of violent crime going to a baseball game. You don’t need to bring your conceal and carry, you don’t need to bring your guns.”

Really? We know you’re relatively new to the job, chief. Maybe you haven’t had time to get the lay of the land yet. Until then, though, we think we’re going with a better-safe-than-sorry approach if it’s OK with you. Or even if it’s not. Go Cards!

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41 Responses to St. Louis Police Chief Declares Downtown A Gun Free Zone. Kinda.

  1. FYI, Mo state law says no CCW in sporting arena / stadium over with seating over 5,000, regardless of Cardinal policy. 4,999 is A-OK though. Go figure.

    • Yes sporting arenas over 5000 capacity is one of 17 places in missouri you are not authorized to carry in now sayin that……

      The first thing to realize is that there is no “list of 17 prohibited places” in the Missouri Revised statutes. In fact, if you read RSMO 571.107.1, it does not use the word, “prohibited” even once. 

      Rather, what 571.107.1 (1) – (17) does is specify places in which your CCW endorsement “does not authorize” you to carry. In statutory language, there is a HUGE difference between actions that are “prohibited”, and actions that are simply not authorized by the mere presence of a CCW endorsement.

       So now that we have some basis established for what this section of law actually does, we can look further into the statute at 571.107.2 which points out that, while an endorsement doesn’t authorize the person holding the endorsement to carry into the places specified in 571.107.1 (1) – (17), carry into those places by an endorsement holder is NOT a criminal act. In fact, it’s not even an infraction.

      At most, it could subject the endorsement holder to denial or removal from said premises. Only if the endorsement holder refuses to leave does it rise to the level of an infraction, and even then it is not the presence of the gun that is the infraction, rather, it is that refusal to leave that is the infraction.

       So where is a CCW permit holder actually “prohibited” from carrying in Missouri? 571.107.1 (9) specifies that your endorsement does not authorize you to carry in “any place where the carrying of a firearm is prohibited by federal law”. So if there is a federal prohibition on the carry of firearms into a certain building or onto a certain property that is located in Missouri, then that prohibition is valid and you are subject to abide by it (think Post Office, Federal Court Buildings, VA Hospital, Social Security Administration Office, etc).

      If you only read Chapter 571, you might come to the conclusion that those places where carry is prohibited by Federal Law are the only places where an endorsement holder is truly prohibited from carrying a concealed firearm, and you would be ALMOST right. However, due diligence demands that we dig deeper to make sure we have all of our bases covered. 

      Upon further examination, we find in RSMO 578.305 that firearms are also PROHIBITED on public buses (under our “Bus Hijacking” law – http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C500-599/5780000305.HTM), furthermore, we find that violation of that law is a Class C felony. We also find that, under an obscure law that allows political subdivisions in Missouri to enter into agreements with political subdivisions in other states, (RSMO 70.441), that the possession of firearms is prohibited on Metro Link trains as well (RSMO 70.441.3 (11) -http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C000-099/0700000441.HTM) and that such possession is a misdemeanor offense (RSMO 70.441.4 (1) ), 

      So there you have it. There are actually THREE prohibited places in Missouri where people who hold a valid MISSOURI CCW endorsement may not carry:

       1. Areas in which the carry of firearms is prohibited by federal law.
      2. Buses used for public transportation.
      3. Metro Link trains

      If you are carrying on a non-resident permit issued by another state, you can add a 4th place to that list: 

      4. Any place that meets the federal definition of “school zone”, or within 1000 feet of any place that meets the federal definition of “school zone” that doesn’t fall under some other exemption specified in that section of federal law. 

      If you are carrying on a valid Missouri CCW endorsement, then #4 does NOT apply to you in “school zones” located in Missouri. 

      Hope that helps some.

      • Don’t forget the fines: $100 first offense, $200 second offense if within 6 months of the first.

        I admit, I was skeptical, thought you were loosely interpreting the statute. But you are right, it is specifically (though no emphasis) not a criminal act to carry concealed in the “non-authorized” places.

        Pretty strange, frankly. A concealed carry is a permit. To then say that there are places you are not permitted to carry, yet take away all enforcement teeth is either poor craftsmanship or (more likely) a deliberate attempt at sounding like carry is limited, when in fact it is merely subject to weak trespass rules.

  2. So, before you leave your gun locked in the car you wave it around and loudly announce you’re leaving a gun unattended in your car? Do the thieves simply break into every car hoping to find a gun? If they do what does that say about the safety and security of the ballpark?

      • Yep, that and any other outward indicator that could mean “A Gun Owner Drives This!”.

        Hunting / Wildlife (Ducks Unlimited, NWTF etc.)
        Gadsden Flag
        Military service
        Molon Labe
        NRA (as you mentioned)

        While they are scum, some of them aren’t as stupid as we’d prefer and they can connect two dots real quick.

        “Oooh, what a nice Bass Pro / Cabela’s sticker on that truck” *smashes window*

  3. “Unless you’re engaged in a lifestyle that’s going to put you at risk, you’re not going to be the victim of violent crime going to a baseball game. You don’t need to bring your conceal and carry, you don’t need to bring your guns.”

    So, if, just saying, IF something were to happen to somebody who has a CCW and isn’t allowed heat, is the Chief now personally liable? …along with the city?

    • Nope, and I believe its been argued before in court. It could potentially get them fired, but that is about it. They can say whatever they want, lets once again remember, the police have no duty to respond or help.

      I believe there was a case posted here some time last year about some guy getting his head beat in while the police watched behind a closed subway door.

  4. If you’re not a criminal you wont get robbed…Got it.

    If you leave your CCW in the car it may get stolen…huh?

  5. Don’t bring your gun, because criminals migt steal it! But don’t worry, there aren’t any criminals.

  6. The police Chief said, “You don’t need to bring your conceal and carry, you don’t need to bring your guns.”

    How in the #%&$ does that police chief know what I need? Maybe I have a stalker. Maybe I am a witness to a crime.

    More importantly, why is a police chief empowered to tell me what property I may or may not possess on my person?

  7. Since it’s not illegal for me to bring it to the parking lot, I respectfully submit the chief can go copulate with himself as he has no say in it.

    • Chuck, I feel for you. I wish your statement held true in your home state. I know your up on it, What’s the latest on ccw in IL? I know Il wont reciprocate my IN LTCH but any talk about out of staters getting permits? I know a long shot.

      • We are working on it Brock. They have to have something in place by June 9th. That is the day the 7th circuit’s ruling go is into effect, stating that Illinois ban on conceal carry is unconstitutional. The Chicago machine is trying to run out the clock, praying for another tragedy to help sway public opinion. They know they don’t have the votes to get what they want. I wont be surprised if they allow constitutional carry to go into effect, then play up every shooting and blame it on the ruling. They are soulless bloodsuckers up there, I put nothing past them. I haven’t heard much on reciprocity. Hopefully Mr. Vandermyde and Rep. Phelps come through with a good bill that includes reciprocity with our neighbors at least.

    • I watched him about two weeks ago on KMOV and at that time, he was asking for a different set of gun laws for St. Louis and Kansas City. Two areas where the need for your firearm is 1000% more important than rural or suburban Missouri, and he wants to disarm law abiding folks who frequent his city. All the while he has armed guards supplied by the tax payers and the SLPD, what a hypocrite!

  8. In my home state, as everywhere else firearms are not allowed in sporting arenas, as well as other designated places. The law is the law and I can respect that. Fortunately in my state we have a concealed WEAPONS permit which covers all weapons including firearms. I have learned over the years, if I can’t carry a gun to a particular place, I will carry some other weapon, or if need be a makeshift weapon that will not alert security when they wand me. I strive to NEVER leave my home disarmed……..as your crappiest moment in life will likely arise when you least expect it…………. 🙂

  9. “Unless you’re engaged in a lifestyle that’s going to put you at risk, you’re not going to be the victim of violent crime going to a baseball game.”
    Because criminals only victimize people whose lifestyles put them at risk. Has this guy ever heard of ‘wrong place, wrong time’? Although, I guess being a baseball fan who attends games in person is a lifestyle that would put one at risk of being assaulted by a drunk fan of the opposing team.

  10. This Police Chief has zero authority to take away people’s 2nd Amendment rights!

    EVERY FAN SHOULD SHOW UP WEARING A HANDGUN IN PLAIN SIGHT! WHAT WILL THIS CHIEF DO, CALL OUT HIS GESTAPO? THEY WILL BE BADLY OUTNUMBERED!

  11. Just don’t ride the Metro-Link! They’ll shoot ya at the steps of the Eads bridge before ya get to the north leg of the Arch. (It will all be on their “security” cameras.)
    No CCW on pubic transportation. Just another Target rich area/gun free zone.
    T in STL

  12. A couple of weekends ago, I stayed in a hotel over on North 9th street in St. Louis, not real far from the stadium or the Arch. My weapon was carried to and from the car and went with me anywhere I drove. The bellman at the hotel warned us not to be out in the parking lot after dark.

  13. The Chief knows that there were hundreds of break-ins in lots around the stadium last year, so he is basically saying the police can’t protect your property in your car if you go to a game.

  14. …what an assinine statement from a corrupt idiot….my Dad was a corrupt St. Louis City Cop…and I grew up among the corrupt St. Louis police community…and I grew up hanging out in the dark heart of St. Louis and East St. louis…please don’t tell me how “safe” the city is, or the Downtwon area…yes, sure…I’ll trade my Constitutional Right for the word of another corrupt political “leader”….impeach him, charge him with treason…convict him and hang him in downtown St. Louis…

    Regards,

    RJ O’Guillory
    Author-
    Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family

  15. Raised in St Louis, left in 1969, I had 3 guns pulled on me, ( they can make you say yes sir, and no sir), took one, carried it till I left town. So I don’t need this political POS, telling me that downtown St Lo, is “Safe”! A little side note. My older brother and I, were stop one evening by the St. Louis police.They put me in the front seat (??), and talked to my brother, and then reversed the status. When they let us go, my brother pulled up his shirt tail, and showed me a .38 revolver that he took out of the glove box. Never heard anything about it, finally got him to get rid of it. The police back in the 50’s and 60’s carried throw down guns. If they shot some and it was questionable, they used a throw down. It seemed like, it was used mostly on shootings of blacks. HE HAD A GUN !!! ???

  16. NRA’s annual meetings have been in St. Louis twice in recent years. I was not impressed with the city either time. This is a good reason not to go back.

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