Concealed carry laws in Missouri allow individuals to carry a concealed firearm or other weapon for self-defense purposes as long as they meet certain requirements. With gun ownership being a constitutional right, Missouri aims to balance public safety with an individual’s right to self-defense.
Understanding Missouri’s Concealed Carry Laws
In Missouri, it is legal for individuals to carry a concealed firearm or other defensive weapon as long as they have the proper permits and follow certain regulations. The state’s concealed carry laws are outlined in Missouri Revised Statutes, Chapter 571.
Some key definitions under Missouri law:
- Concealed carry refers to carrying a firearm or other weapon in a hidden or secret manner. The weapon must not be visible by ordinary observation.
- A concealed carry permit allows an individual to carry certain concealed firearms or defensive weapons legally.
- Open carry refers to visibly carrying a firearm or other weapon in public. Missouri allows open carry without a permit for firearms only.
- A concealed firearm can include any pistol, revolver, or other firearm designed to expel a projectile by action of an explosive.
Missouri is known as a shall issue state, meaning the state will issue concealed carry permits to any applicant who meets the legal requirements. We’ll cover those requirements next.
Concealed Carry Permit Requirements in Missouri
In Missouri, concealed carry permits are issued at the state level by the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.
To get a Missouri concealed carry permit, applicants must:
- Be at least 19 years old
- Be a Missouri resident or U.S. citizen
- Complete a firearms safety training course by an NRA-certified instructor or law enforcement agency. This involves learning gun laws, fundamentals of firearm safety, safe handling, cleaning, storage, and proficiency.
- Submit a completed application and pay the required fees
- Pass a state and federal criminal background check
Permits in Missouri must be renewed every five years. The renewal process is similar to the initial application.
Those prohibited from carrying concealed firearms in Missouri include:
- Convicted felons or individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors
- Fugitives fleeing justice or those subject to valid restraining orders
- Those dishonorably discharged from the armed forces
- Any individual who has pled guilty or been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year
Where You Can and Cannot Carry a Concealed Firearm in Missouri
In general, a valid Missouri concealed carry permit allows you to carry concealed firearms, knives, and self-defense sprays in most places throughout the state. However, there are some off-limit locations under the law.
According to Section 571.107, concealed carry is prohibited in these sensitive areas, even with a permit:
- Police stations and other government buildings with adequate security measures
- Courthouses and courtrooms
- Polling places on election days
- Facilities hosting athletic events, concerts, or similar activities with seating over 5,000
- Establishments where alcohol consumption makes up more than 50% of sales
- Any private property or private employer prohibiting concealed firearms on their premises (signage required)
- Public transportation buses and facilities with “no weapon” signs
- Federal museums, federal buildings, national parks, amusement park rides, and casinos.
Concealed carry is also prohibited on any private school property without consent from school officials under Section 571.107. Public post-secondary schools may prohibit concealed carry through rules and regulations.
Anywhere that bans concealed firearms must display proper signage at all entrances stating that concealed firearms are prohibited. This signage requirement allows concealed carriers to know where they can and cannot carry.
Concealed Carry Reciprocity in Missouri
Concealed carry reciprocity refers to the recognition of carry permits from other states. Missouri has reciprocity agreements with nearly all states in the U.S.
This means that anyone holding a valid concealed carry permit issued from another state may legally carry in Missouri, provided they follow Missouri’s concealed carry laws. Likewise, Missouri concealed carry permit holders can legally carry in most other states that recognize their permit.
However, some states like California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York do not recognize Missouri’s concealed carry permits and prohibit carrying a concealed firearm within their borders both for Missouri residents and their own residents without a permit issued from their state. Always check the local laws before crossing state lines with any concealed firearm.
The Missouri Attorney General provides an up-to-date reciprocity map showing which states recognize Missouri’s concealed carry permits.
Concealed Carry Permit Laws are Constantly Evolving
Concealed carry laws are actively debated, with regulations and enforcement varying by state, county, and municipality. In Missouri, concealed carry legislation is frequently introduced each year, proposing expansions, limitations, or clarifications on things like eligibility, prohibited places, signage, and more.
For example, Missouri House Bill 85 was recently signed into law and goes into effect later this year. It modifies provisions relating to carrying concealed firearms onto public transportation, clarifies signage requirements, allows concealed carry in churches and other places of worship, and makes other changes.
Because laws are constantly evolving, it is essential to stay up to date on Missouri’s concealed carry statutes and regulations. The state publishes an annual Concealed Carry Permit Manual summarizing key laws and restrictions. Consulting with licensed local weapons crimes lawyers can also help ensure you carry concealed legally and safely.
Work With a Law Firm to Stay Compliant With Missouri’s Concealed Carry Laws
Missouri’s concealed carry laws seek to balance public safety with the constitutional right to self-defense. The state issues permits to law-abiding residents who complete approved training and pass background checks. While permit holders may carry concealed firearms in most public places, certain sensitive areas remain off-limits.
With regulations frequently changing, it is critical to stay up to date on Missouri’s concealed carry statutes and prohibited places. The criminal defense lawyers at Rose Legal Services can ensure your rights are upheld if you’re charged under Missouri concealed carry laws. They defend clients against concealed carry charges and other weapon-related crimes. Contact their team today to discuss your situation.