Amidst the myriad of mass shootings in the United States in recent years
and their increased coverage in the media, gun laws in the United States
have since garnered considerable scrutiny and controversy from both lawmakers
and citizens alike. While many have pushed for tighter restrictions on
the purchase and carry of firearms, countless others have stood their
ground in defense of the Second Amendment and have instead called for
more law abiding citizens to arm themselves against possible aggressors.
While the future of gun legislation in the United States is uncertain,
it is nonetheless important for the residents of Missouri to understand
the state’s current gun laws and ensure compliance.
Concealed and Open Carry Laws in Missouri
Like many states in the south, Missouri has relatively relaxed gun laws.
No permit nor registration of ownership is required to purchase a rifle,
shotgun, or handgun in the state. Likewise, individuals within the state
are permitted to openly carry a long gun or handgun, though open carry
may be prohibited by some local ordinances. As of October 11th, 2014, however, those with a valid concealed carry weapons (CCW) license
are exempt from these rules.
Missouri is a “shall issue” state in regards to CCW permits,
meaning that those who meet the determining criteria are guaranteed approval
without the discretion of the granting authority. To obtain a CCW, an
- Be at least 19 years old (or 18 if a member of the armed forces)
- Be a United States citizen
- Be a Missouri resident
- Be able to demonstrate knowledge of firearms safely
With that being said, CCW laws are set to change dramatically following
the passing of Senate Bill 656, which will make permitless concealed carry
legal throughout the state when it takes effect on January 1st, 2017.
Who May Not Carry a Firearm?
Despite the state’s loose gun laws, there are still numerous categories
of individuals who are prohibited from carrying a weapon within the state
of Missouri. These include:
- Individuals younger than 19 years old
- Non-United States citizens
- Non-Missouri residents
- Convicted felons and fugitives
- Individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors including some DUI charges
- Individuals dishonorably discharged from military service
- Individuals with documented patterns of dangerous behavior
- Individuals adjudicated as mentally incompetent or institutionalized
- Individuals with a protective or restraining order against them
Exhibiting any weapon “readily capable of lethal use” in an
angry or threatening manner is similarly prohibited, as is carrying a
weapon into a school facility, place of worship, polling place, airport,
alcohol serving establishment, or government building.
Charged with a Weapons Violation? Call Worsham Law Firm
Weapons charges are extremely serious and can carry extreme criminal penalties
upon conviction, including possible jail time, harsh fines, and possible
loss of your right to own a gun. If you have been charged with any sort
of weapons violation, the
Springfield criminal defense attorneys at Worsham Law Firm can provide the powerful advocacy you need to minimize
your chances of conviction.
To find out more about what our 20+ years of legal experience can do for
you, call (417) 658-4172 and
set up a confidential case review today.