The long strange trip
Often a planetary government maintains a very strict law level, eg very restrictive weapons laws. This often means that the only weapons allowed are non-lethal ones like snub pistols with tranquilizer rounds. Even then a license is required. When it comes to the startown, however, the government tends to “look the other way”, hoping that this will prevent the vice from spreading to places they actually care about.
On Regina, for example, the effective law level of the startown is something akin to 4 rather than the formal level of 8. This means that police officers may well carry private weapons of law level 2, people who bribe the precinct police can carry weapons of level 5 without being harassed, most locals can carry concealed level 6 weapons, and obvious offworlders can carry level 6 weapons openly. Still, anyone who carries an unauthorized weapon would do well to remember that it is illegal and that any bored or quota-filling policeman can choose to enforce the weapons laws if he feels like it.