Carrying without a permit still has a number of restrictions.
By Kathy Feist
As of January 1, citizens of Missouri can legally carry a concealed weapon without a permit. However, there are still many restrictions for carrying without a permit. We reviewed the updated gun bill law (SB 656) with Kevin Jamison, president of the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance and an attorney whose focus has been weaponry and self-defense for the past 33 years.
- The new law legalizes concealed carry for citizens who can lawfully own firearms, which includes those free of felony convictions, not judged mentally incompetent, not convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, not dishonorably discharged, and other violations.
- With a permit, you can carry concealed weapons in Missouri plus 36 other states. Without a permit, you can only carry in Missouri.
- With a permit, you receive firearms safety and legal training. Without a permit, no training is required.
- With a permit, you can carry in school zones to drop off, pick up, or go to sporting events or meetings inside the school as long as the gun remains locked in the car. Without a permit, you cannot carry a firearm within a 1000 feet of a school or school sponsored event without being in violation of the Federal Gun Free School Zone Act. As Jamison warns, “It’s just not possible to drive through the metropolitan area and not hit a school zone. Having a license is useful.”
- There are 17 places you cannot carry a gun (see list). If you are caught carrying a gun on any of these properties, are asked to leave but refuse to do so, you can be cited with an infraction and a fine of $100 if you have a permit. Without a permit, you can be arrested and charged with a class B misdemeanor weapons offense. According to Jamison, that may include a $500 fine or six months in jail.
- Having a permit enables you to know Missouri weapons laws to avoid trouble with the law. Misperception of the law are common. “A person might think that putting a sign up saying trespassers will be shot will allow him to shoot,” he says. “This simply is not true.”
- With or without a permit, handguns can only be used when your life or that of an innocent other is at risk of serious physical injury or death. Use of a handgun is very limited. “You cannot wave your gun at people unless you are threatened,” says Jamison.
- Permit holders will have a knowledge of when they are justified in using self defense. “There must be a reasonable fear of human breakage,” says Jamison. Examples may include a threat to your life or limbs, sexual assault/rape, kidnapping, burglary of an occupied building or arson or an occupied building.
The Castle Doctrine
This law has been around since the Medieval ages, according to Jamison. It legally allows one to use deadly force to defend himself or others from a person who unlawfully enters or remains on their property. The new law now extends to include other persons who have been given specific authority by the property owner to occupy the property.
Stand Your Ground Law
Up until recently Missouri was one of just 20 states that had a duty to retreat law. A duty to retreat requires a defendant to prove he could have retreated to a place of safety first before using armed force. In Missouri, this law had exceptions and those were: dwellings, residences, vehicles or one’s private property. With the new bill, Missouri has officially adopted a stand your ground law that states a person has no duty to retreat from any place they have a lawful right to be.
The type of permits for concealed carry includes the standard 5-year permit along with the option of a 10-year, 25-year or lifetime permit. The latter three are only valid in Missouri and do not include submitting fingerprints. Fees vary depending on your choice, beginning with $100. The cost of training is $125.
For more information, or to print out a chart simplifying the law, visit learntocarry.com.
The 17 Places Where Guns Are Prohibited*
- Police, sheriff, and highway patrol offices
- Within 20 feet of a polling place on election day
- Into an adult or juvenile detention or correctional facility
- Into any court house or building used by a court
- Any government meeting including the state legislature
- Government owned buildings, except for public housing
- Airports with TWA offices
- Any place prohibited under federal law, like post offices
- Into any school or college
- Into any childcare facility
- Into a casino
- Into a gated amusement park
- Any church
- Into any private property conspicuously posted off-limits to concealed firearms
- Any sports arena or stadium seating more than 5000 people
- Into any hospital accessible to the public
Does not apply if one has permission from an owner or manager.