Obviously, recent weeks have seen a near flood of different threads on almost every aspect of guns, gun rights, gun control, gun crime, gun accidents,
gun abuse and guns in general.
Sometimes you'd think there was nothing else to our fair nation. Well, in all this discussion, there have been fleeting references here and there
quoting actual law on how CCW works in reality and not just in perceptions or mis
While researching another aspect entirely, I came across these items and had to share. I imagine it may be as valuable to others in my state as it is
interesting to those living elsewhere or outside the United States entirely. It's hard to know who and what to believe when sources are being quoted
willy nilly and without solid credibility.
This is a piece of a pamphlet produced by the Missouri State Highway Patrol that outlines the basic procedure, function and laws relating to carrying
a weapon in Missouri by permit.
(Source: Missouri Concealed Weapons Law - MO State
The pamphlet is a little odd reading in that form since it's obviously meant to be a printed item and folded to lay right, but it's easy to see what
lines up as you read down the page. As the above clips show though, it's more than simply not being a felon. At least in this state it is. There are
a wide variety of things both large and small that can get a person denied. Missouri is a "SHALL ISSUE" state though.
SHALL ISSUE means that if you do qualify under the various requirements, fingerprint supported background check and pass the required class and firing
range skills portion of the testing, you "SHALL" be issued your permit without need of justification or judgement of anyone beyond that. There is
nothing subjective about the issuance of the permit here. It's cut and dry both in getting one and in losing it, as it's also covered in the linked
This is what a CCW endorsed State ID card looks like.
Unlike many states, Missouri helpfully allows a person to get the CCW endorsement listed on EITHER their Driver's License or a separate State ID card
so it's not necessary to advertise the status to everyone a license may be handed to for routine identification purposes. This was priceless for me
as a trucker, since confusion over the laws regarding carrying in that situation are epic. It's so much easier that anyone outside Law Enforcement
simply never know it exists at all.
Now Missouri's strict and thorough process to issue permits has been well received around the nation. In the United States, a CCW permit (or whatever
each state terms their version) is accepted in other states at that state's individual discretion. Some state permits are almost universally
accepted. Some are not accepted by many states outside the one issuing it. It varies greatly and it's one of the key points learned in the classroom
portion of the course required to receive it.
Here is a map of the states where a Missouri resident can carry their weapon without further permitting or other issues:
(Missouri State Attorney General - Latest Reciprocity Info / Text)
(Note: Wisconsin has changed their status for CCW issuance since the time of that image creation. The 2nd link has up to the moment information from
the state AG)
Of course, this doesn't mean a Missouri permit holder or any other state holder can travel across someone else's state assuming the laws which apply
at home just apply everywhere. Certainly not. Some states allow firearms in Bars. Some do not. Some allow them in Churches while some require Church
permission and some prohibit it outright. It's always the permit holders duty to know the laws of each state being entered for those local
There is another quirk of the Missouri law which doesn't necessarily hold everywhere outside our state but it's interesting enough to note. Here,
it's not called a Concealed handgun
permit, as some states term it. It's absolutely not tied to just one weapon...or even one TYPE of weapon.
The permit stands good to carry ANY legal weapon in a concealed method. That doesn't mean one can carry hand grenades and say they thought that
counted. lol.... (unless they legalize them here.
...naww.. I doubt it too.. darn)
Finally, it's always a question among some for just what constitutes justified USE of deadly force. Here again, the law is liberally written and was
modified in recent years to be even more so. It's generous for limits within reasonable and logical fear for your own life, that of another or great
bodily injury to either. Here is the exact statute language:
Missouri State Statute - Defense of Justification
A person may not use deadly force upon another person under the circumstances specified in subsection 1 of this section unless:
* He or she reasonably believes that such deadly force is necessary to protect himself, or herself or her unborn child, or another against death,
serious physical injury, or any forcible felony;
* Such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter a dwelling, residence,
or vehicle lawfully occupied by such person; or
* Such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter private property that
is owned or leased by an individual claiming a justification of using protective force under this section.
A person does not have a duty to retreat from a dwelling, residence, or vehicle where the person is not unlawfully entering or unlawfully
remaining. A person does not have a duty to retreat from private property that is owned or leased by such
(Missouri State Statute - Defense of Justification / Full Chapter Text, All)
The statute covers one other item which was modified in how it read in recent years.
"Forcible felony", any felony involving the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual, including but not limited to
murder, robbery, burglary, arson, kidnapping, assault, and any forcible sexual offense;
It used to be very specific in defining what was meant by Sexual offense, to limit it. That limit no longer applies as it once did. Sexual Offenders
attack people in Missouri at their own risk...as a bystander is fully justified in intervening with deadly force should they come upon a forcible
sexual offense in progress.
In closing, I hope this has been helpful in illuminating this area of law and how it applies to the actual use of concealed carry as I and roughly
155,000 other state residents here
practice it on a daily basis.
Stay Safe and never fear exercising your legal rights. That's what they're there for!