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Judge Makes No Ruling After Concealed Weapons Testimony

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The hearing was at the Civil Courts Building in downtown St. Louis (KWMU photo)

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The injunction preventing Missouri's concealed weapons law from taking effect will stand at least for the immediate future.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer heard more than five hours of arguments and testimony yesterday, but did not rule on a the injunction should be permanent.

At issue is whether the law violates Missouri's constitution. Paul Wilson, with the Attorney General's office, says it does not.

"The argument that we made in court is that the judge needs to rule as soon as he possibly can, that the issues are purely legal, and his decision is an important one and he needs to make it carefully," Wilson said. "But it will be reviewed and it will be reviewed on the law."

If Judge Ohmer does not grant a permanent injunction, attorneys say the law will go into effect immediately.

Whichever way he rules, the case is likely to go before the Missouri Supreme Court.

Judge Ohmer heard arguments from a lawyer for the National Rifle Association, as well as from the Missouri Attorney General's office and plaintiffs' attorneys fighting conceal and carry on behalf of 10 plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs' attorney Burt Newman said Ohmer now "has to decide whether to continue with that point of view. And I didn't hear anything in the courtroom today that was fundamentally different than what we heard previously."

State's attorneys say the constitution does not expressly prohibit or permit concealed weapons, but does give the legislature the authority to pass laws on the matter.

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