The Missouri Court of Appeals held in R.F. v. Owen that a person applying for a conceal and carry permit could not have their application denied solely on the basis that they had a prior felony expungement.  In this case, the Petitioner, R.F., had his felony record expunged. After his expungement had been granted, R.F. applied for a conceal and carry permit with the Platte County Sheriff. The Sheriff denied his application on the basis that he had a prior felony expungement.  R.F. requested the Sheriff reconsider his conceal and carry permit application and the Sheriff denied his application for a second time. R.F. appealed this denial to the Circuit Court.

The Court held that the Sheriff needed to reconsider R.F.’s application and instructed the Sheriff to base their decision on “something more” than the fact that R.F. had a felony conviction expunged. The Sheriff appealed to the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District. The Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court ruling holding that the Sheriff cannot deny a conceal and carry permit solely on the grounds that an applicant had an expunged felony conviction. The Court went on to explain give examples of what it meant by the “something more” that the Sheriff needs to consider as it reviews the applications for conceal and carry permits.

The Court indicated that the type of original offense could be relevant in determining the eligibility for the conceal carry permit. This means that if the original offense was something that established the applicant “engaged in a pattern of behavior, documented in public or closed records, that causes the sheriff to have a reasonable belief that the applicant presents a danger to himself or others”, then the Sheriff could use that information in his decision making. If an applicant’s original offense that was expunged involved guns or dangerous activities, then that could be “something more”. “Something more” is open to interpretation and gives the Sheriff great discretion in determining who is and is not granted a conceal and carry permit.

If you have been denied a conceal and carry on the basis of a prior expunged record, then this decision may help you. If you need assistance with an expungement, a conceal and carry permit or if you just have questions, then please contact David and his team.”