Federal or State Weapons Offenses
No permit is necessary to carry a handgun in Missouri, provided that you are at least 19 years old (18, if you are a member of the United States Armed Forces or honorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces), and are not otherwise prohibited from carrying a firearm. However, the following types of guns are illegal: explosive weapons, gas guns, exploding bullets, machine guns and short-barreled rifles or shotguns.
What exactly can lead to a weapons offense?
Even though our state has some of the most lenient gun laws in the country, there are some restrictions. A weapons offense involves the illegal possession, transportation or distribution of firearms—with many felony cases dealing with convicted felons or those who are prohibited from possessing a firearm.
It’s a felony in Missouri to have any gun in your possession if you:
- Are a convicted felon
- Are a fugitive
- Are habitually under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Have been legally deemed mentally incompetent
- Are in possession of an illegal drug
- Additionally, you could be charged with a felony if you give or sell a gun to any of the people described above.
Additionally, It’s a federal charge to have a gun in your possession if you:
- Have been dishonorably discharged from the military
- Have been convicted of domestic violence (even misdemeanors)
- Have a domestic restraining order against you
- Use a drug that’s listed as a controlled substance
- Are a minor (even with a parent’s consent)
You could also be charged with a weapons offense (usually a misdemeanor) if you:
- Sell or give a firearm to a minor
- Give a gun to an intoxicated person
So, can you carry a gun anywhere in Missouri?
No. There are many places where it is against the law to carry a gun or other deadly weapon. These places include:
- K-12 schools or any school function
- Churches or other places of worship
- Government buildings
There are exceptions, however, and this is where the law gets tricky. That’s why if you are charged with a weapons offense, it’s best to talk to the experienced attorneys at Taylor Defense Law. Exceptions to the above restrictions include people with concealed carry licenses or who are acting in self-defense, law enforcement officers, and those who have an unloaded gun (with no accessible ammunition).
Be aware that there are places where even a concealed carry license isn’t valid.
Those places include colleges and universities, sports stadiums or arenas, bars, hospitals, or on any private property that has signage prohibiting guns. Your concealed carry license does mean that you will simply be asked to leave as opposed to being charged with a weapons offense. The best thing to do to avoid any issues is to leave your gun in your car at these places.
While you may have a gun legally, how you use it can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges.
Unless you are a member of law enforcement or are acting in self-defense, it is illegal to shoot a gun:
- At a person
- From or at a vehicle
- Into a house, vehicle (including trains, boats and aircraft), or any building where people gather
- Near public highways
- Within 100 yards of a school, government or church where people are present
- While you are drunk
- You can also be charged if you show a weapon in a threatening way (unless in situations of self-defense), set a spring gun, or use a deadly weapon to commit another crime
Being charged with a weapons offense can lead to jail time and fines. While each case carries a different sentence, felony charges can be punishable with up to four years of jail time and a $5,000 fine.
If you’ve been charged with a weapons offense, it’s important to speak with an attorney who has experience and extensive knowledge of federal and state gun laws. Taylor Defense Law will speak with you and determine your best defense, and take you through the court process.
Let us represent you. Call Taylor Defense Law today.