Unless you are a convicted felon, you have the right to possess a firearm in Lake of the Ozarks and other parts of the state of Missouri. That does not, however, mean that Missouri has lax gun laws. On the contrary, there are many ways that you can be charged with gun possession.
If you are arrested for a gun crime, you need to act quickly. The criminal defense lawyers at Kirsch & Kirsch, Attorneys at Law, can review your case and provide a diligent defense. Contact us today before it’s too late.
Gun Laws in Missouri
Using a gun during the commission of a crime can complicate any charge and lead to enhanced penalties. For example, if you burglarize a building while possessing a firearm, you could be charged with a first-degree felony under Missouri law. But a number of Missouri laws address unlawful possession of a firearm in the absence of any other criminal activity.
Legal Purchase of a Firearm
In order to legally purchase a firearm in MO, you must meet all of the following qualifications:
- Be at least 19 years old
- Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident of the United States
- Be a Missouri resident
- Completed a firearm training course
- Not be a convicted felon
- Not be a fugitive (i.e., no warrants or capiases)
- Not have been adjudicated guilty of a violent misdemeanor within the past five years
- Never been determined to be mentally incompetent
- Never have been dishonorably discharged from the military
Illegal Possession of a Firearm
Under 571.070 of the Missouri criminal code, you can be charged with a class D felony if:
- You are in possession of a firearm and are convicted of a felony in Missouri or a crime in another state that would be a felony in Missouri. If the crime is considered a dangerous felony, the charge is a Class D felony.
- You are either a fugitive from justice, habitually intoxicated or drugged, or are judged mentally incompetent.
These charges carry prison sentences, fines, and further loss of rights. If you are arrested for illegal possession of a firearm, call a criminal defense attorney immediately.
Illegal Weapons in Missouri
The police can also arrest you for certain types of weapons as well. The following weapons are not legal without special licenses where they apply:
- Gas guns
- Machine guns or automatic weapons
- Explosive ammo
- Sawed-off shotguns and rifles
- Silenced weapons
Open and Concealed Carry
Open and concealed carry are legal in Missouri if you have the legal right to carry a weapon and the weapon is compliant with state and federal law. If you are not legally allowed to carry a firearm, you can be charged with illegal possession of a firearm.
Other Laws Involving Firearms
The following acts are also prohibited under Missouri law:
- Shooting a firearm into an occupied structure
- Brandishing or displaying a weapon to threaten one or more people
- Negligently handling a weapon while intoxicated
- Firing a gun within 100 yards of a court, church, or school
- Firing a gun across a public highway
- Shooting into or from a moving vehicle
- Bringing a firearm into an occupied church, court, or school, or into a school function
We Can Defend Against All Types of Firearms Charges
The criminal defense lawyers of Kirsch & Kirsch have extensive experience defending clients who have been arrested for firearms crimes. Here’s what our criminal defense lawyers can do for you.
Review the Probable Cause Affidavit and Documentation
The police must have probable cause to make an arrest. Oftentimes, the probable cause may be sufficient to take the defendant into custody but is insufficient to meet the higher standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Your criminal defense lawyer can review the probable cause to look for weaknesses in the case. For example, did the police search your property or vehicle without consent? Was the gun actually in your possession, or was it just nearby? These details can be the difference between prosecution and acquittal.
Depose the Arresting Officers and Witnesses
As the defendant, your attorney has the right to question any and all witnesses for the prosecution. Your criminal defense lawyer can subpoena the arresting officers and depose them under oath.
Examine Discovery Evidence
Your attorney will have access to all of the evidence the prosecution intends to use against you. They can match this against the established facts to find weaknesses in the prosecutorial strategy.
Negotiate a Plea Deal
There are cases where it makes more sense to negotiate a plea with the state attorney. If the case against you is strong, it may be in your best interest to accept a plea deal. You will, of course, have the final say in the matter.
Represent You in All Court Hearings
Your attorney will act as your representative in all court proceedings, including pretrial motions.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gun Possession
We have represented hundreds of clients who have been charged with crimes. These are some of the most common questions about gun possession in Missouri.
If I’m on probation, is gun possession a new charge?
Yes, in addition to violating your probation, you may be facing new charges if you illegally possess a gun. If this is the case, you need to hire an attorney to represent you for the probation violation as well as the new crime.
Why should I hire a private attorney?
You have the right to the best representation available. If you can’t afford a private criminal defense lawyer, the court will appoint a public defender for you. However, public defenders are often burdened with enormous caseloads. Consequently, they’re under pressure to clear their cases by accepting pleas.
A private defense lawyer, like you, will find at the Lake of the Ozarks Kirsch & Kirsch law firm, manage their own caseloads. They reserve the resources to handle each case properly.
Can I go to prison for possession of a firearm?
Yes, firearm possession charges are usually felonies in the state of Missouri, which means that prison is a possibility. That’s why you need to take your charges seriously and retain the services of a criminal defense lawyer immediately.
Criminal Defense Lawyers in Lakes of the Ozarks
If you’ve been charged with a gun crime, you could face incarceration, fines, probation, and a criminal record. Don’t risk your freedom by taking the charges lightly. Contact Kirsch & Kirsch, Attorneys at Law, today!