A gun scare earlier this month led the Maplewood City Council to vote to ban carrying unconcealed firearms in public during a meeting on Tuesday night.
On March 12, a man wearing a loaded pistol on his hip walked through , said Steve Kruse, chief of the . Shoppers alerted Walmart workers, who called 911, Kruse said.
Police escorted the man outside and stripped him of his weapon after he refused to tell them his name, Kruse said. Once police identified who he was, officers found he was wanted for an outstanding traffic warrant and arrested him, he said.
Carrying an unconcealed gun—a practice often referred to as "open carry"—is legal* in Missouri unless its outlawed by local ordinances. City Council voted to pass such an ordinance that would ban open carry, but it will require a final vote during the April 12 meeting.
Maplewood police officers who are off duty aren't even allowed to carry guns in the open, Kruse said. It's against city policy.
KTVI-2 FOX reported on Monday that the armed man, Brett Darrow, told cellmates he could have shot the arresting police officers:
"Darrow wouldn't say much about the episode by phone so Fox 2 requested video and audio from the Richmond Heights jail where he was booked. You can hear Darrow say, 'There was like four of them walking right up. He said buddy come here. I could've f***ing shot him whatever.'"
Each council member voted to ban the practice except Third Ward Councilman Shawn Faulkingham, who was the lone dissenter, and Second Ward Councilman Tim Dunn, who was absent from the meeting.
“We’re reacting too quickly,” Faulkingham said.
*Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly outlined requirements for carrying an unconcealed firearm in Missouri. Maplewood-Brentwood Patch is sorry for the error.