Illegal weapons charges in Missouri not only pertain to the type of weapon that is allegedly being used but also how it is being used. Missouri has strict regulations on what types of weapons people can possess or acquire within the legal limitations. This article gives a basic, yet comprehensive outline of the laws surrounding illegal weapons, such as which weapons are illegal to possess, what is considered unlawful use of a weapon and the penalties that accompany Springfield illegal weapons charges.
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges for illegal weapons contact a Springfield criminal attorney at Missouri Legal today.
Which Weapons Are Illegal To Possess In Springfield, Missouri?
While most Missouri weapons laws are similar throughout the whole state, certain cities and municipalities may have different laws surround what types of weapons are illegal to possess. This can make illegal weapons charges confusing. For example in some parts of Missouri, it is legal to own a switchblade knife, however, in Springfield, it is not. In Springfield, MO according to Sec. 78-259 to it is illegal to possess the following weapons:
- A switchblade knife;
- A bullet or projectile which explodes or detonates upon impact because of an independent explosive charge after having been shot from a firearm;
Sec. 78-254 goes onto say that the use of arrows (for a bow) with bladed, sharpened or other hunting-style heads within the city limits is hereby prohibited, with the exception of target arrows.
Firearms that are illegal to possess in Missouri in accordance with Federal Law include:
- Explosive weapons
- Gas guns
- Exploding bullets/projectiles
- Machine guns
- Short-barreled rifle or shotgun (“sawed-off”)
In addition to the above Springfield illegal weapons and firearm laws, it is illegal to carry a firearm in Missouri if a person meets any of the following criteria:
- Has been convicted of a felony.
- Is a fugitive or has been charged with any type of crime that is punishable by more than one year in jail.
- Has been convicted or plead guilty to a misdemeanor from a drunk driving charge, a crime of violence or possession of a controlled substance within the last five years.
- Has been judged mentally incompetent.
- Has a dishonorable discharge from the armed forces of the United States of America.
If you have any questions about illegal weapons charges in Springfield, don’t hesitate to contact your local Springfield firearms attorney with any questions or concerns you may have. You can also find out more about the requirements a person needs to meet in order to purchase and carry a gun, here.
What Is Considered Unlawful Use of a Weapon in Missouri?
The unlawful use of a weapon in Missouri as defined by Chapter 571 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, Section 571.030 states that a person commits the unlawful use of weapons if he or she knowingly commits the following acts:
- Carries a concealed weapon such as a knife, firearm or any lethal weapon into an area where firearms are prohibited.
- Sets a spring gun or shoots a firearm into a dwelling like a home or a boat, for example, or into a structure where people are assembling.
- Exhibits or displays a lethal weapon in an angry or threatening manner in front of one or more persons.
- Possesses a firearm or projectile weapon capable of lethal use while in an intoxicated state or handles the weapon in a negligent or unlawful manner unless acting in self-defense.
- Discharges a firearm within one hundred yards of a church building, courthouse or occupied schoolhouse.
- Discharges firearm on, along or across a public highway
- Possesses a firearm or any other weapon capable of lethal use into a church or place of worship, any election precinct on election day or any government buildings.
- Shoots or discharges a firearm at or from a motor vehicle at a person, another motor vehicle, or building unless otherwise acting in self-defense.
- Carries a firearm into a school building or school facility. The firearm doesn’t need to be loaded to be illegal.
There are exceptions to these laws among certain groups of people such as law enforcement officers, some medical personnel, prison officials, probation officers, etc.
Penalties for Illegal Weapons Charges in Missouri
Penalties for illegal weapons charges in Springfield range from Class B Misdemeanors to Class A Felonies depending on the infraction and any other factors surrounding the charge. Weapons charges in Missouri are serious crimes and should not be taken lightly. Call Missouri Legal today to get the legal help you need from one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys in Springfield. While each case is different due to the specific circumstances of the case, the following gives a general overview of the penalties one may face if charged and convicted of an illegal weapons charge in Missouri:
- Class B Misdemeanor – If a person carries a concealed weapon where firearms are restricted, fires a firearm within 100 yards of a school, courthouse, church, along or across a highway, he or she will be charged with a class B misdemeanor. Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to six months in jail with fines up to $500.
- Class A Misdemeanor – If a person is found to be in possession of a lethal weapon while in an intoxicated state or takes a firearm into a school building or facility, that person will be charged with a class A misdemeanor, as long as the firearm is not loaded. If convicted of a class A Misdemeanor a person could face up to a year in jail and with fines up to $1000.
- Class D Felony – The most common penalty for weapons charges in Missouri is a class D felony. A class D felony is punishable by up to one year or 4 years in prison and fines up to $5,000. However, there are some exceptions that could increase the penalty of the weapons charge in Missouri.
- Class A Felony – If a violation of the unlawful weapons charges results in the serious injury or death of another person, he or she will be charged with a class A felony. If convicted of a class A felony a person will face a prison term of no less than 10 years up to life imprisonment.
If you are facing unlawful or illegal weapons charges in Springfield it vital that you contact the firearm attorneys at Missouri Legal to get the legal representation you deserve in order to have a fighting chance against the allegations you may be up against.