In Missouri, our citizens have the right to protect themselves. For many, this often means carrying a gun or firearm in their car or on their person. However, if you do not both know the extent and limits on your right to carry or use a gun or weapon and meticulously follow the laws of this state when owning or carrying a gun, you can easily find yourself charged with a criminal offense.
Under RSMo. Section 571.030, a person commits the crime of unlawful use of weapons if he or she knowingly:
(1) Carries concealed upon or about his or her person a knife, a firearm, a blackjack or any other weapon readily capable of lethal use; or
(2) Sets a spring gun; or
(3) Discharges or shoots a firearm into a dwelling house, a railroad train, boat, aircraft, or motor vehicle as defined in section302.010, or any building or structure used for the assembling of people; or
(4) Exhibits, in the presence of one or more persons, any weapon readily capable of lethal use in an angry or threatening manner; or
(5) Has a firearm or projectile weapon readily capable of lethal use on his or her person, while he or she is intoxicated, and handles or otherwise uses such firearm or projectile weapon in either a negligent or unlawful manner or discharges such firearm or projectile weapon unless acting in self-defense; or
(6) Discharges a firearm within one hundred yards of any occupied schoolhouse, courthouse, or church building; or
(7) Discharges or shoots a firearm at a mark, at any object, or at random, on, along or across a public highway or discharges or shoots a firearm into any outbuilding; or
(8) Carries a firearm or any other weapon readily capable of lethal use into any church or place where people have assembled for worship, or into any election precinct on any election day, or into any building owned or occupied by any agency of the federal government, state government, or political subdivision thereof; or
(9) Discharges or shoots a firearm at or from a motor vehicle, as defined in section 301.010, discharges or shoots a firearm at any person, or at any other motor vehicle, or at any building or habitable structure, unless the person was lawfully acting in self-defense; or
(10) Carries a firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, or any other weapon readily capable of lethal use into any school, onto any school bus, or onto the premises of any function or activity sponsored or sanctioned by school officials or the district school board; or
**(11) Possesses a firearm while also knowingly in possession of a controlled substance that is sufficient for a felony violation of section 195.202.
Not all Unlawful Use of a Weapon charges are created equally. Depending on which unlawful “use”, or, subsection you are charged with violating, punishment if convicted can range anywhere from as light as a Class B Misdemeanor all the way up to a Class A Felony. This is why the facts and circumstances of each individual case are extremely important when defending against an Unlawful Use of a Weapon charge.
If you’ve been charged with a crime resulting from your use or possession of a gun or firearm, contact the Glaesman Law Firm, LLC today so that we can help you defend against the charges and mitigate any punishment the State is seeking to impose.