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3 ways to avoid unlawful use of weapons charges

On Behalf of | May 7, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Missouri has lenient gun laws which allow law-abiding adults aged 19 and older to carry a gun without a license or permit.  If residents choose to go the extra step and obtain concealed carry licenses, they may bring a firearm into locations off-limits to others.

While both open and concealed carry is legal, it is essential to acknowledge that there are certain circumstances where having a gun may result in unlawful use of weapons charges.

1. Do not carry a gun into a restricted area

Some locations do not allow people to bring a gun onto the premises unless they are law enforcement officers or possess concealed carry licenses. These places include:

An unloaded or nonfunctioning gun is exempt from the restriction if the holders do not have access to ammunition. Felony charges may result if offenders bring guns onto a K-12 school campus.

2. Avoid brandishing a gun while intoxicated

While it is not illegal to possess a gun when drunk, intoxication from alcohol can cloud peoples’ judgment about weapon safety. Missouri law prohibits people from acting negligently, shooting or waving around a gun while drunk.

3. Refrain from shooting the weapon in unauthorized locations

Gun owners must act responsibly when firing their guns. If people shoot a firearm into an occupied building, within 100 yards of a school or church or across a public roadway, they have broken the law.

While Missouri allows many residents to carry a gun, it is necessary to understand the regulations to avoid any unlawful use of weapons charges.