Weapons Charges Carry Serious Penalties
Facing weapons charges can be a serious legal situation. On the whole, dealing with weapons charges can sometimes be confusing and even overwhelming. That is why understanding your options is the best place to start.
Attorney Justin Summary serves those in St. Louis, Missouri, and neighboring areas, including throughout St. Charles, St. Louis County, St. Clair County, and Madison County. He will support you and help you know what to expect when facing weapons charges in Missouri. For experienced advocacy from a criminal defense attorney, contact him directly today.
What Are Common Weapons Charges In Missouri?
There are multiple reasons someone can be charged. Some of the common weapons charges include the following:
- Prohibited possession. In Missouri, it is a class D felony to possess a firearm if you have been convicted of a felony, are a fugitive from justice, are known to be habitually drunk or intoxicated, and have been considered mentally incompetent. Unlawful possession also extends to individuals who have been dishonorably discharged from the military, individuals convicted of domestic abuse or violence, individuals with a valid restraining order on them, and anyone who consumes a controlled substance.
- Prohibited sales. Selling a firearm to anyone who meets the description of prohibited possession is illegal. Selling to any of these individuals can be considered a Class E felony. It is also unlawful to sell a firearm to a minor without parental consent.
- Giving a firearm to an intoxicated person. Please note that giving a firearm to someone who is intoxicated is also considered unlawful. For instance, handing a gun to a drunk friend during a hunting trip would be considered illegal under Missouri law.
- Carrying a firearm in an unauthorized location. Folks can face weapons charges if they carry a firearm in a restricted area (i.e., schools or places of worship) despite not violating any of the conditions listed under prohibited possession.
- Unlawful use of weapons. Using weapons such as pointing or shooting at a person, shooting from a vehicle, firing at any type of vehicle, or negligent use such as when drunk can be considered a class B misdemeanor charge.
Please note that weapons charges may be added to other charges. For example, weapons charges may be added to charges such as assault or robbery. As a result, it is important to understand the nature of the overall charges to consider a potential defense such as self-defense.
What Is Unlawful Carrying Of Weapons In Missouri?
Missouri is known to have some of the country’s most flexible gun laws. However, there are specific situations in which it is unlawful to carry a weapon in Missouri:
- In a school, school bus, or anywhere school activities may take place
- Places of worship such as a church or temple
- An election precinct on the day of an officially sanctioned election
- All federal or state government premises
Please note that concealed firearms are restricted in places such as:
- College or university campuses
- Sports stadiums or arenas
- Licensed bars or establishments that obtain more than half of their income from liquor sales
- Hospitals or clinics
- Any private property that restricts carrying firearms, such as hotels, banks, or restaurants.
Please note that having a concealed carrying license will avoid unlawful weapons charges in restricted locations. Nevertheless, double-checking firearm policies before visiting public locations is always a good idea.
What Is Missouri’s Open Carry Handgun Law?
In Missouri, it is not necessary to have a license to carry a firearm openly. In this regard, individuals may carry firearms without a license as long as they are visible.
Similarly, it is not required to have a license to carry a concealed weapon in places that are not restricted (e.g., inside a person’s private automobile). However, it is restricted to carry concealed weapons in off-limits places such as those described earlier.
It is always best to apply for a concealed carry license if you regularly visit restricted locations such as a university campus. Additionally, it is a good rule of thumb to check potential issues in order to avoid unwanted weapons charges.
What Are Possible Penalties For Weapons Charges In Missouri?
Possible penalties for weapons charges largely depend on their classification. Misdemeanor charges, such as unlawful possession, may lead to a prison term of less than one year and a fine. However, other penalties, such as probation, may be ordered instead of jail time.
Felony charges come with a minimum one-year prison term. Depending on the nature of the charges, individuals may face longer jail terms. Please note that weapons charges added to other charges can add to the overall jail term. For example, assault with a deadly weapon may lead to penalties for assault and unlawful use of a weapon.
Please bear in mind that a professional criminal defense lawyer can work with prosecutors to focus charges correctly. Depending on the charged individual’s criminal record, the charges may be reduced or even dismissed.
Start Your Defense Today
At the Summary Law Group, attorney Summary works hard to protect his clients’ rights to a fair defense. He understands how important it is to get the right legal counsel during confusing and overwhelming times, and therefore, gives his personal commitment to help his clients get the defense they deserve. Reach out today if you need support in St. Louis, Missouri, and the neighboring areas of St. Charles, St. Louis County, St. Clair County, and Madison County. Use this email form to get in touch, or call 314-673-1475.