As Pols Talk Tighter Gun Control, A Look at 5 Fast and Loose Firearms Laws in Missourah

Categories: Violent Crime

Gunfight_note.gif
Old time Missourah or visions of Castle Doctrine law in the present?
Nothing wrong with a night of bullets and booze... at least in Missouri.

In the wake of last week's school shooting in Newtown, Conn., St. Louis County Police Colonel Tim Fitch has said he'd like to see school officials and teachers carry concealed weapons to prevent such tragedies . Such a move would require Missouri to violate the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act, which criminalizes the carrying of firearms in specified school zones (Kansas did just that in 2010). Now, there are plenty of people out there who believe more guns is a perfectly commonsense solution to gun violence. But there are also plenty of people who think gestures like that are batsh*t insane.

It's worth noting though that Missouri has some of the laxest gun control laws in the country. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a pro-gun control think tank, gave Missouri a big fat F for guns laws in their 2012 annual review of gun violence across the United States.

As Missouri continues to make it easier for people to obtain, exchange, and carry firearms, we took a look at some of the most striking statutes in Missouri state law.

1. Don't forget your gun when you go out drinking.

guns n alcohol
Valentine's Day at the shooting range?

Law-abiding citizens can carry a gun while intoxicated and even fire it if "acting in self-defense" (see Law #4 for Missouri's generous interpretation of self-defense). Double shots all around!


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14 comments
JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

Amazing that the RFT is using the P-D as a source. That just makes the stat doubly hard to believe. How many non-shootings did the home owner defend his rights by just showing the intruder the business end of a gun? How many homes were not broken into because the thieves, rapists, and murders had to think twice whether that person had a gun and was ready to use it? Make law-abiding people disarmed to defend themselves, and the criminals have nothing to fear.

Christopher Miguel Angel-Evil Harrison
Christopher Miguel Angel-Evil Harrison

Jay - the only requirement for ammunition purchases is that you be of age (18 for long guns ammo, 21 for handgun). As with alcohol or tobacco, if you are obviously well over that age you don't get carded. Jason - permits to acquire are no longer required in Missouri. StLouis county may have their own "Alcohol+gun" ordinance, or you may have been given "common sense" rather than strictly legal advice. Police officers aren't lawyers (neither am I), and individual officers often believe the law to be different than it is.

Jason Brock
Jason Brock

I had to wait on StL County PD to approve my permit when buying from a licensed seller, it wasn't no same day nonsense. During the whole process I was told it's illegal to be consuming alcohol while in possession of said firearm.

Jay Vines
Jay Vines

In Illinois you need a FOID card to purchase Ammo. In Missouri you dont need anything, not even an ID. I was totally shocked when I went to Cabelas with a friend. If Ammo was harder to get, there would be alot less gun violence....

12judges
12judges

First of all many of what you describe as "fast and loose" are in fact not laws but lack thereof.  Second, most reasonable gun owners and concealed carriers are not necessarily opposed to tightening up regulations regarding firearms but there are others you list that are completely necessary.  CCW while drinking, absolutely not.  CCW while in a location that might sell drinks is another story.  Cities and municipalities should not have the right to overrule state law anymore than state laws should overrule the Federal government.  The NICS background check is not "light" and in fact prevented spree killer Adam Lanza from purchasing a gun, in other words, it worked.  Many gun owners, myself included, would favor background checks on all private sales.  Castle Doctrine is completely justifiable and I'm convinced it has been used justifiably far more than the statistics you cite.  And lastly CCW holders bring guns to public assemblages all the time, just like cops.  If anyone knows of an example of CCW holder that made a public gathering unsafe let me know. 

Bushey Tina
Bushey Tina

^^^well said Christopher. I may not know the exact details of gun ownership law, because I don't own any or have an interest in owning, but I am generally proud of MO's lax gun laws. I just wish both sides of the argument would quit sensationalizing the issue.

Christopher Miguel Angel-Evil Harrison
Christopher Miguel Angel-Evil Harrison

I agree with #2, I think allowing every town in the state to enact laws that counter state law is silly, not just for gun laws. At some point, you have to stop allwoing control to go more and more granular, to avoid total chaos. #4 - I think you're sensationalizing a problem that doesn't exist. I recognize that some people will tell me this is hypocritical in light of my answer to #2, but in #5 why shouldn't the owner of a venue be allowed to say what is and isn't allowed on their property. Sports staduims, by the way, are still prohibited places if they are on school property or seat over 5,000 and carrying a gun in a churche (since you mentioned them) requires permission from the pastor (or whatever the appropriate title is).

Christopher Miguel Angel-Evil Harrison
Christopher Miguel Angel-Evil Harrison

Re:#3 You have made a pretty serious factual error. "Had Lammers gone to a gun show, pawn shop, or perfectly legal but otherwise unlicensed retailer, he wouldn't have had to undergo any background check at all to purchase a firearm." Firearms sold at gun shows are under the same rules as firearms sold anywhere else. A licensed dealer selling at a gun show must get the same paperwork and NICS check as in their store. Pawn shops that buy and sell guns ARE, and must be, licensed dealers and also must follow those requirements at all times. There is no such thing as a "perfectly legal but unlicensed retailer" selling firearms. If you're selling guns as a business, you're required to be licensed and it's a federal felony to "engage in the business of selling firearms" without a Federal Firearms License. You're absolutely right in the top half of this one, the mental health system and the NICS system should be properly integrated. The "Gun show loophole", however, is a myth.

Jillybean10
Jillybean10

"Earlier this year the Post-Dispatch reported seven fatal shootingsin 2011 in St. Louis that were protected under Castle doctrine." 

Do we have a stat on how many people were attacked, raped, killed, etc. in their home?   

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

"embarrassed, Missouri is such a joke when it comes to a lot of things." do you live here? you're more than welcome to leave.

Adam Hardebeck
Adam Hardebeck

embarrassed, Missouri is such a joke when it comes to a lot of things.

12judges
12judges

You're very wrong.  First it might surprise you to know that ammo is relatively expensive creating a natural market barrier to many buying quantities over 100 rounds.  Second the nation is awash in bullets to such an extent that restriction of sale quantities, certification requirements, or artificial price inflation would do next to nothing to stop a dedicated bad guy from doing what's necessary to obtain them.  Lastly it only takes one bad guy with one bullet to kill someone with a gun.

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