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Missouri Gun Laws

Missouri Gun Laws



Over the past ten years, Missouri’s gun laws have undergone significant changes, reflecting the state’s dedication to preserving Second Amendment rights while addressing evolving perspectives on firearm ownership and public safety. From concealed carry to background checks, these developments aim to strike a balance between individual rights and community security. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the key advancements in Missouri’s gun laws and regulations from 2013 to 2023, presented in bullet points:

2013 – Concealed Carry Law Expansion:

   – Missouri enacts legislation to simplify the process for obtaining a concealed carry permit, emphasizing responsible firearm ownership.

2014 – Background Checks for Private Sales:

   – Legislation is introduced to require background checks for private firearm sales at gun shows, promoting responsible transfers and closing potential loopholes.

2015 – “Stand Your Ground” Law Enactment:

   – Missouri adopts a “Stand Your Ground” law, allowing individuals to use deadly force in self-defense without a duty to retreat under certain circumstances.

2016 – Enhanced Penalties for Gun Crimes:

   – Legislation is introduced to enforce stricter penalties for individuals convicted of gun-related crimes, aiming to deter illegal firearm use.

2017 – Enhanced Reporting of Mental Health Records:

   – Missouri improves the reporting of mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to prevent firearm access by prohibited individuals.

2018 – Firearm Preemption Law:

   – Missouri strengthens state preemption laws to prevent local jurisdictions from enacting firearm regulations that exceed state laws.

2019 – Enhanced Background Checks for Concealed Carry:

   – The state tightens the background check process for concealed carry permit applicants, focusing on mental health history and criminal records.

2020 – Reporting Lost or Stolen Firearms:

   – Missouri introduces regulations requiring reporting lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement, aiming to prevent potential diversion to illegal markets.

2021 – Firearm Storage Recommendations:

   – Missouri introduces guidelines promoting responsible firearm storage practices, particularly in households with minors, to prevent unauthorized access.

2022 – Enhanced Background Checks for All Firearm Sales:

    – Missouri considers potential regulations to require background checks for all firearm sales, including private transactions.

2022 – School Safety Legislation:

    – Missouri explores legislation to enhance school safety by permitting certain school staff to carry concealed firearms on school grounds, subject to proper training.

2023 – Firearm Training Requirements for Concealed Carry:

    – Proposed legislation aims to enhance firearm training requirements for concealed carry permit applicants, emphasizing responsible gun ownership and firearm handling skills.

2023 – “Stand Your Ground” Law Review:

    – Missouri reviews its “Stand Your Ground” law to assess its impact on self-defense rights and community safety.

2023 – Enhanced Reporting of Mental Health Records:

    – Missouri continues to improve the reporting of mental health records to NICS to ensure the prevention of firearm access by prohibited individuals.

Missouri’s gun laws have evolved significantly over the past decade, reflecting the state’s dedication to responsible firearm ownership and community safety. From concealed carry regulations to discussions on “stand your ground” laws and background check enhancements, these changes underscore Missouri’s proactive approach to firearm regulation. As the state continues to adapt its laws, it remains essential for stakeholders, policymakers, and citizens to engage in informed discussions that balance individual rights with the security of the community.

Missouri gun laws are among the weakest in the country, but such leniency has not reflected in the states violent crime statistics. This contrast can be attributed to the state’s prideful history and culture towards the right to carry guns. To elaborate this cavalier attitude towards gun control a quick reference chart towards licenses, registrations, and permits is appropriate. For clarity sake, handguns and rifles will be divided into two groups.

Rifles and Shotguns

     No permit is required to purchase rifles and shotguns

     Registration of rifles and shotguns is not required under Missouri gun law

     Ownership licenses are not required

     A permit to carry shotguns and rifles is not required


     No permit is necessary to purchase a handgun

     Registration of handguns is not required

     Ownership licenses are not required

     The right to carry handguns requires a license

License of ownership and registration of firearms is not mandatory under Missouri gun law. State permits are also not required for the purchase of handguns or long guns in Missouri. Miscellaneous restrictions, which outline the use of such firearms is fairly generic according to the interpretation of Missouri gun legislation.

It is a misdemeanor to possess an unloaded fire arm under the influence of drugs or alcohol (it is a felony if the weapon is loaded). The only other regulation in regards to possession under Missouri gun law is: unlawful for a felon (5 years from imprisonment), fugitive, or habitual drug user to possess a concealable firearm. Like many states in the mid west and deep south, Missouri law gun is very loose and possess very little regulation.

The right to carry guns in Missouri is a little more rigorous. It is illegal to carry a concealed handgun without a concealed carry endorsement, which is labeled on the Missouri driver’s license.

To obtain a carry endorsement the applicant must be at least 23 years of age, a citizen of the United States, and reside in Missouri for a minimum of 6 months. Applications to legally carry and conceal a firearm are submitted to the sheriff of the county of residence. The application includes basic information, state and federal background checks, fingerprinting, and proof of weapons training completion.

Once all documentation is filed the sheriff has three days to issue the certificate of qualification for a concealed carry endorsement. In addition to the endorsement, any state concealment permit will be upheld by Missouri gun laws-the right to carry guns will be considered legal if any concealment permit is shown to law enforcement. Once obtained the endorsement, is valid for 3 years.

The right to carry guns, whether concealed or not, is always considered unlawful in airports, hospitals, schools, churches, bars or restaurants, and sporting events. Like most states, Missouri gun law is lax in regards to purchase, ownership, and registration, but is strict when it comes to concealment.

According to the Brady Campaign (popular movement to further increase gun control laws), Missouri has some of the weakest gun laws in the country. Although crime isn’t an issue, Missouri borders the most states in the country and is susceptible to illegal gun trafficking. Since Missouri gun law has no regulations on dealers, and does not require background checks on all firearms sales, funneling of weapons to felons and convicts has become a substantial problem.