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3 mistakes that can lead to Missouri firearms charges

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2023 | Criminal Defense

For the most part, Missouri has relatively firearm-friendly statutes. State law affords most adults the option of lawfully possessing a firearm. People can even obtain a concealed carry permit to have a handgun on their person in public. State law does not require a permit for open carry or concealed carry in many locations for adults age 19 or older, but having a permit can help to protect people’s rights in other states.

Unfortunately, many people assume that state laws and the Second Amendment protect them from any sort of restrictions or prosecution related to firearm ownership. However, there are numerous mistakes that could potentially result in someone facing criminal charges related to their gun ownership.

Having an unregistered firearm accessory

Missouri does not require that people register their firearms by providing the state with notice of their purchase. People can own any legal firearm without notifying the authorities about their acquisition.

There are, however, federal limits on the kinds of accessories that can be purchased. A suppressor is a perfect example. It is an accessory that requires a federal permit, and someone caught without the right permit could end up arrested.

Having a criminal record that affects your rights

There are numerous circumstances wherein firearm ownership is no longer technically permissible. A dishonorable discharge from the military or diagnosis of certain mental health disorders could prevent you from lawfully owning a firearm in the future. Even misdemeanor domestic violence charges could affect your firearm ownership rights. People may think that there is no issue with their firearms, only to end up arrested because they specifically are not permitted to possess a gun.

Carrying a firearm in an improper location

There are many places in Missouri where you can legally carry a weapon openly or privately. However, there are also multiple locations where you cannot carry a firearm. It isn’t legal for members of the public to carry firearms into a police station or any detention facility or correctional center, for example.

It isn’t lawful to bring a firearm into a courthouse or a government meeting. The state also limits carrying firearms in bars, airports, schools, childcare facilities, riverboat casinos, religious buildings, amusement parks, large sporting arenas/stadiums, public hospitals, within 25 feet of a polling station on an election day and anywhere a property owner has signs limiting firearm carrying.

Understanding the limitations imposed on firearm ownership and possession in Missouri can help hunters and other enthusiasts avoid firearm charges.