In the state of Missouri, an individual who wants to purchase a firearm must be at least 19. If they are active or honorably discharged members of the U.S. military, they must be at least 18.
A licensed dealer will require a customer to complete an ATF form and will check their ID to verify their age. The gun dealer then communicates with the FBI, which uses the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to verify that the customer is allowed to own a gun.
Gun Restrictions in Missouri
The gun dealer performs background checks at the point of sale; a person-to-person sale of a rifle, shotgun or handgun does not require a background check in Missouri. But a firearms dealer could be prosecuted if they sell a gun to an individual who is not allowed to own a gun.
Minimum Age for Gun Owners
Missouri gun laws do not require an individual to have a gun permit if they are 18 and an active or honorably discharged member of the U.S. military. The state also does not require an individual to have a gun permit if they do not fit into this category, but are 19 years of age or older.
Missouri Concealed Carry Law
Missouri law does not require an individual to have a concealed carry permit if the person is legally allowed to own a firearm. State law allows for restrictions on where a person can carry concealed firearms. A local government such as a city or town is allowed to regulate the open carry and discharge of firearms.
St. Louis Concealed Carry Permit
St. Louis requires individuals who want to own a handgun or other type of firearm to obtain a conceal and carry firearm permit from the office of the sheriff. An applicant should apply in person at the sheriff’s office at the civil courts building.
They need to provide their name, address in St. Louis, date of birth, place of birth, telephone number, gender and proof of St. Louis residency. The proof can be a utility bill, personal property tax receipt or voter ID card.
St. Louis Concealed Weapons Application Process
Fees for St. Louis permits vary by type. A first-time application fee is $100; a renewal fee is $50 if the permit has not expired. If the permit has expired, there is an additional late fee of $10 per month for each month it has been expired for up to six months. There is a $10 processing fee for replacing a lost or stolen permit. The sheriff will reissue a new concealed carry license within three days of notification.
After a person’s application is reviewed, they will be notified by mail. The approval or denial letter will be stamped on the outside of the envelope: “For Confidential Addressee Only.” A St. Louis concealed carry permit is good for five years from the date of issue.
A permit holder must notify the sheriff of a name change within 30 days and pay a $10 fee. There is no requirement to notify the sheriff of an address change within the same county. There is also no fee collected for an address change within the same county. If a permit is lost or stolen, the permit holder must notify the sheriff within seven days of actual knowledge of the loss or theft.
Federal Restrictions on Gun Ownership
Federal law provides that certain individuals are not allowed to own firearms:
- Those convicted of an offense punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, which covers most convicted felons.
- Those who are fugitives from justice.
- Unlawful users or addicts of any controlled substance, as defined in Section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act.
- Undocumented immigrants.
- Those adjudicated as mentally defective or persons committed to a mental institution.
- Those discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions.
- Those who have renounced their U.S. citizenship.
- Those subject to a court order restraining them from harassing, stalking or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner.
- Those convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
Hunting and Firearms in Missouri
Missouri prohibits fully automatic weapons for all hunting. During November and times when deer are antlerless, people may hunt other wildlife only with a shotgun and shot not larger than No. 4 or .22, or smaller caliber rimfire rifle.
This does not apply to waterfowl hunters, trappers or landowners on their own land. During the firearms portion of the elk hunting season in open counties, other wildlife may be hunted only with the firearms noted above. Again, the rule does not apply to the exempted categories.
Other Missouri Hunting Laws
A hunter may not possess night vision or thermal imagery while carrying a firearm except to take coyotes between February 1 and March 31; for the purposes of killing feral swine by landowners or their authorized representatives on the landowner’s property; or with written authorization of an agent of the department.
Hunters are encouraged to wear hunter (blaze) orange whenever they are hunting. They are required to wear hunter orange at certain times and locations. A hunter may not take wildlife from or across a public roadway with a firearm.
Unlawful Use of Weapons
A person commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons if they knowingly carry concealed on their person a firearm into any area where firearms are restricted, such as a courthouse. They also commit this offense if they shoot a firearm into a house, motor vehicle or building to assemble people, such as a workplace, have a firearm on their person while they are intoxicated or shoot a firearm within 100 yards of an occupied schoolhouse, courthouse or church building.
Permits and Nonresidents of Missouri
A person with a valid concealed carry endorsement or permit from another state that is recognized by Missouri must carry that permit in their possession at all times. The person carrying a firearm openly must display that permit upon demand of a law enforcement officer.
In the absence of any reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, no person carrying a concealed or unconcealed firearm shall be disarmed or physically restrained by a law enforcement officer unless under arrest.
- City of St. Louis: Conceal and Carry Firearm Permit
- Revisor of Missouri: Section 571.030 Unlawful Use of Weapons
- Revisor of Missouri: Section 21.750 Firearms Legislation Preemption by General Assembly
- U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives: ATF Form 4473 - Firearms Transaction Record Revisions
- Missouri Department of Conservation: General Hunting Regulations
- Federal Bureau of Investigation: National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)
- Missouri Attorney General: Concealed Carry Reciprocity FAQs
- U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives: Identify Prohibited Persons
- Revisor of Missouri: Section 557.021, classification of offenses outside this code
- Revisor of Missouri: Section 558.002, fines for felonies
Jessica Zimmer is a journalist and attorney based in northern California. She has practiced in a wide variety of fields, including criminal defense, property law, immigration, employment law, and family law.