Can You Carry in Your Car in Missouri?

The Second Amendment gives Americans the right to bear arms; generally speaking, the Supreme Court has upheld this right. However, each state can still set its own regulations about buying and owning guns. Missouri is a “Constitutional Carry” state, meaning you do not need a permit to carry a concealed firearm if you are legally allowed to possess one. This law applies in public places and private vehicles.

Photo of Weapons

Carrying Guns in Cars in Missouri: What You Need to Know

If you are wondering, “Can I carry a gun in my car in Missouri?”, the answer is yes. You are allowed to have a concealed gun in your car without a permit under a few conditions:

  • It cannot be easily reached
  • It must either not work or be carried in a way that it cannot be used right away
  • It must be unloaded with the bullets stored separately and not easily reached

Suppose you are 19 or older (18 or older for those actively serving or who have served honorably in the United States armed forces stationed or residing in Missouri). In that case, you can have a concealed weapon in your vehicle’s passenger area if you are legally allowed. This also applies if you are passing through Missouri without stopping. If you have an extended concealed carry permit, or one from before August 28, 2013, or a similar permit from another state, you are covered under these rules.

Under Missouri gun laws related to concealed carry permits, even if you have a permit, there are places where you cannot carry concealed firearms. Missouri concealed carry permits do not apply to the following places:

  • Government buildings
  • Schools (elementary or secondary school facility)
  • Child care facilities
  • Correctional facilities
  • Bars (without consent from the owner)
  • Any private property that has a visible sign prohibiting firearms

You can still have the firearm in your car at these locations as long as you do not take it out or wave it around in an angry or threatening manner.

If someone gets on a bus with a dangerous or deadly weapon, without the bus owner’s or their representative’s approval, they could face serious legal consequences. You are not allowed to bring a firearm onto any property or vehicle that is part of a public transportation system operated by the Bi-State Development Agency, which is a partnership between Missouri and Illinois unless you have permission from the agency.

Companies and business owners in Missouri also have the right to say no to employees or visitors bringing a hidden firearm into vehicles owned by said organization.

Concealed Carry Laws: Can I Carry a Firearm In My Vehicle in Missouri?

Missouri residents can carry firearms and concealed weapons on his or her person for protection, but it is contingent on certain restrictions. First, you must be at least 19 years old; the minimum age is 18 for members of the military and veterans. You must also be legally allowed to possess a firearm, i.e., you cannot have a felony conviction or any misdemeanor offenses involving crimes.

Despite the permitless carry law, the state still offers a Concealed Carry Permit system (CCP) for those who wish to obtain one. To get a valid concealed carry endorsement in Missouri, you need to complete a firearms training course, submit an application to your local sheriff’s department, and pass a background check.

What are the Penalties?

If you are caught carrying a firearm in a location where it is explicitly prohibited, you could be charged with misdemeanor offenses involving driving. This could result in up to 1 year in jail and fines of up to $2,000. In more severe cases or if you have prior offenses, you could be charged with a felony punishable by 10 to 30 years or life in prison.

If you are prohibited from possessing a firearm and are caught with one, you can face years in prison, heavy fines, and the permanent loss of firearm rights.

Get Legal Help from Criminal Defense Attorneys in Missouri

If you are facing charges for having a gun in your car, you can fight back using a legal defense. The criminal defense lawyers at Kirsch & Kirsch, LLC., will pursue the strongest possible defense strategies to establish that you were following the law whenever you had the gun in or out of your car. We may also find evidence to show that the law enforcement officer stopped you without probable cause or searched your car without the right to do so.

Our legal team in Jefferson City has a successful track record of defending clients against a range of criminal charges and is deeply committed to advocating for them vigorously through every stage of the legal process. Give us a call at 573-222-0826 or complete this form to schedule your free consultation.