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Missouri Legislature Expands Open Carry of Firearms

Publications - Client Alert | October 12, 2016


Missouri has long allowed the open carry of firearms, but the passage of Senate Bill 656 will further expand those rights.

On January 1, 2017 existing ”Castle Doctrine” and ”Stand Your Ground” protections will be expanded, additional conceal carry permit options to include extended (as well as lifetime) permits will be added, and more people will be able to carry concealed weapons without a permit in some places.

Senate Bill 656 passed into law on September 14, 2016 when Missouri lawmakers decisively overrode Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto by a vote of 24-6 in the Senate and 112-41 in the House.

The Castle Doctrine, which allows the use of deadly force to protect real property against intruders in most instances, has been expanded from property owned or leased by the actor to include the protection of an actor occupying private property with the owner’s consent to protect it. The law also adds 10-year, 25-year and lifetime conceal carry permit options for residents. Additionally, the law allows for conceal carry firearms by anyone in locations where a licensed conceal carry permittee also may carry.

There are several locations where conceal carry firearms are specifically prohibited,* and those prohibitions extend regardless of whether the holder possesses a lawful permit or not. These include:

  • Law enforcement offices or stations without consent;
  • Within 25 feet of any polling place on election day;
  • Any detention or correctional facility;
  • Any meeting of local government;
  • State, county, court and municipal buildings where specifically prohibited;
  • Bars, with some exceptions;
  • Airports;
  • Anywhere prohibited by federal law;
  • Any educational facility without consent;
  • Child care facilities, without consent;
  • Riverboat gaming facilities, without consent;
  • Amusement parks;
  • Places of worship, without consent;
  • Private property where posted by a lawful sign;
  • Sports facilities with seating of 5,000 or more;
  • Hospitals

* It is not a criminal offense for firearms to generally be kept in a locked vehicle while parked in or on any of the above prohibited areas as long as the firearm is not removed or brandished while on the premises.

The so-called ”Castle” and ”Stand Your Ground” doctrines have been expanded slightly and no longer require a person to own or lease property in order to lawfully defend themselves or others. The Act does not require a person to retreat from any place where the person lawfully had a right to be.

It also allows for the issuance of extended and lifetime conceal carry permits, however both are valid only within the State.

The new law reminds both individuals and business owners of their right to post in a conspicuous place one or more signs, each having minimum dimensions of 11 by 14 inches with lettering at least one inch tall indicating that firearms are prohibited.

This is merely an overview of the changes to Missouri Law and is not a complete recitation of the law. You are encouraged to review SB 656 for yourself and consult with an attorney if you have specific questions.

Additional Information

This client alert was prepared by members of Kutak Rock’s National Firearms Group. For additional information, please contact a member of the group listed below.

This Firearms Industry client alert is a publication of Kutak Rock LLP. This publication is intended to notify our clients and friends of current events and provide general information about firearms industry issues. It is not intended, nor should it be used, as legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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