Gun violence in schools is fast becoming a significant issue across America. But while it may be tempting as a parent or guardian to bring a firearm to protect your children from a shooter, you could get into trouble with Missouri law.
Missouri laws on bringing guns to school
Whether loaded or unloaded, it’s unlawful to bring a firearm to any school, school bus, or the premises of any school-sanctioned activity, under Missouri law. A concealed carry endorsement also doesn’t permit the holder to bring a concealed firearm into a school without the authorization of a school official, the district school board or the governing body of a higher education institution.
Exceptions to the rule
There are exceptions to this strict firearm rule. They include:
- For people transporting a student: Any person passing through school premises to bring a student to and from school is exempt from the firearm prohibition.
- For school-sanctioned firearm-related events: A person bringing a firearm to school for a sanctioned event (such as a gun safety demonstration) is exempt.
- For those bringing a firearm in a non-functioning or inaccessible state: State laws exempt gun owners if they bring a non-functioning firearm, a gun unloaded of any ammunition or the firearm itself isn’t readily accessible (i.e., locked up in a carrying case).
- For school administrators or teachers: Any school staff designated as protection officers can carry firearms to schools to protect their students.
In addition, gun owners engaged in a lawful act of defense – in response to a school shooting, for instance – may be allowed to enter school premises.
Penalties for bringing guns to school
If officers catch an individual illegally bringing an unloaded firearm to school property, the authorities can charge the person with a Class A misdemeanor. This charge carries a $2,000 fine and a sentence of up to a year.
But those caught unlawfully carrying a loaded firearm to school can potentially face a Class E felony. Those convicted of this charge face up to four years of imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Charged for bringing a gun to school – no matter the reason – can leave you with heavy fines, prison time and a criminal conviction that can stay on record for years. If you want to reduce your sentence or challenge the charge, consider hiring a gun law attorney.