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Missouri Gun Control Laws

While the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms (which has been interpreted very broadly by the Supreme Court), states have some freedom to regulate the sale and ownership of guns. Missouri gun control laws are fairly loose compared to other states, lacking waiting periods or the requirement of background checks when guns are purchased from unlicensed dealers.

Missouri Gun Control Laws at a Glance

The basics of Missouri's gun control laws are summarized below. See FindLaw's Gun Laws article for a concise overview of the topic.

Relevant Statutes (Laws)

Missouri Statutes, Title XXXVIII, Chapter 571, Sections 571.010 through 571.510

Illegal Arms

The following are illegal in Missouri, unless there is an exception under federal law:
  • Machine guns
  • Short-barreled rifles
  • Short-barreled shotguns
  • Silencers
  • Bullets or projectiles that explode upon impact

Waiting Period

Missouri does not require a waiting period for purchasing a gun.

Who May Not Own

A person cannot possess a firearm if the person:
  • Has been convicted of a felony
  • Is a fugitive from justice
  • Is habitually in an intoxicated or drugged condition
  • Is currently adjudged mentally incompetent

License Required?

Missouri does not require a license to buy or own a gun.

Concealed Carry License Required?

Missouri does not prohibit carrying concealed firearms, but there are some locations where a person cannot carry a concealed firearm, such as a polling place or a jail.

Open Carried Allowed?

Missouri does not explicitly prohibit open carry. Missouri law does allow a person with a concealed carry permit to briefly and openly display a firearm to another person, unless the firearm is intentionally displayed in an angry or threatening manner.

Eligibility for a Concealed Carry License

The sheriff of the county or city where the applicant resides can issue a concealed carry permit if the applicant meets the following requirements:
  • Is at least nineteen years of age or is at least 18 and a member of the United States military
  • Is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Has assumed residency in Missouri, or is a member, or the spouse of a member, of the military stationed in Missouri
  • Submits a completed application for a permit
  • Submits an affidavit attesting that the applicant complies with the concealed carry safety training requirement
  • Has not pled guilty to or entered a plea of nolo contendere or been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, other than a crime classified as a misdemeanor under the laws of any state and punishable by a term of imprisonment of two years or less that does not involve an explosive weapon, firearm, firearm silencer, or gas gun
  • Has not been convicted of, pled guilty to, or entered a plea of nolo contendere to one or more misdemeanor offenses involving crimes of violence within a five-year period immediately preceding application for a concealed carry permit
  • Has not been convicted of two or more misdemeanor offenses involving driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs or the possession or abuse of a controlled substance within a five-year period immediately preceding application for a concealed carry permit
  • Is not a fugitive from justice or currently charged in an information or indictment with the commission of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, other than a crime classified as a misdemeanor under the laws of any state and punishable by a term of imprisonment of two years or less that does not involve an explosive weapon, firearm, firearm silencer, or gas gun
  • Has not been discharged under dishonorable conditions from the United States Armed Forces
  • Has not engaged in a pattern of behavior, documented in public or closed records, that causes the sheriff to have a reasonable belief that the applicant presents a danger to himself or others
  • Is not adjudged mentally incompetent at the time of application or for five years prior to application, or has not been committed to a mental health facility
  • Is not the respondent of a valid full order of protection which is still in effect
  • Is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm

Machine Gun Laws

Missouri prohibits possessing a machine gun if possessing it violates federal machine gun laws.

Penalties for Illegal Firearm Possession

Missouri's penalties for illegal firearm possession are:
  • Possession of a machine gun, sawed-off shotgun, or sawed-off rifle is a class D felony punishable by up to 7 years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine
  • Possession of a defaced firearm is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment and up to a $1,000 fine
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm is a class D felony punishable by up to 7 years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm if a person has been convicted of a dangerous felony is a class C felony punishable by 3 to 10 years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine

Penalties for Illegal Possession on or Near School Grounds

Illegal possession of a firearm on school property is a class A misdemeanor if the firearm is unloaded and a class E felony if the firearm is loaded. The penalties are:
  • Class A misdemeanor: Up to 1 year imprisonment and up to a $2,000 fine
  • Class E felony: Up to 4 years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

Missouri Gun Control Laws: Related Resources

Questions About Your Gun Rights?

If you have been charged with a Missouri gun crime or have specific questions about your gun rights, speak with a local attorney such as a criminal defense lawyer.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

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