Applications for concealed carry permits in Missouri are dropping after passage last year of a law making them unnecessary in many places.
Highway Patrol data on fingerprints processed for concealed carry permits show submissions hit a low of fewer than 1,600 in December.
That's the fewest processed in the three years of available data. Patrol records only date back to January 2014.
Lawmakers and law enforcement officials say the drop was expected because of the new law.
Republican Cole County Sheriff John Wheeler says he still encourages people to get permits. He says they allow gun holders to carry in states with reciprocal agreements.
Wheeler also says training is helpful for understanding other gun laws and how to act in situations where holders might need to use firearms for defense.