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How to Buy a Gun in Missouri: A Complete Guide

buy a gun in Missouri

Figuring out how to buy a gun in Missouri is incredibly straightforward, because the state has some of the country’s loosest gun control measures. There are very few restrictions on open and concealed carry in Missouri, and most residents can legally purchase a firearm without much trouble. 

State officials are attempting to keep it that way, too, as legislation they passed in 2021 gives precedence to Missouri state gun laws over any changes to federal regulations that could restrict gun ownership. Legal challenges to this bill are expected, but for now, Missouri residents don’t have to worry too much about tighter gun control coming anytime soon. 

The process of buying a gun in Missouri is still worth understanding, though, so anyone interested in purchasing a firearm in the state should learn the steps before beginning. This guide will show you how gun buying works in Missouri and discuss any documentation you’ll need to proceed.

An Overview of Background Checks in Missouri

You’ll need a background check before purchasing a gun from a licensed dealer in Missouri. The process is generally pretty quick, as long as you don’t have anything on your record that bans you from purchasing or owning a firearm.

Go to a Gun Dealer

Dealers perform background checks in Missouri at the point of sale. Your gun dealer will have you fill out an ATF form and check your ID to ensure you’re entering the information accurately and that you’re at least 19 years old. 

Receive an FBI Background Check

Missouri isn’t a point-of-contact state, so all background checks go directly through the FBI. Some states conduct background checks themselves using local and federal databases. Your gun dealer must communicate with the FBI, either by phone or electronically, which will use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to ensure you aren’t prohibited from owning a gun in the United States. 

Private Sales

Background checks aren’t necessary when completing a private sale in Missouri. This law means nearly anyone can purchase a firearm from someone who isn’t a Federal Firearms Licensee. 

Restoration of Rights

Some applicants fail the background check because of something that shows up on their federal record. These usually result from a past criminal conviction or mental health concern. There are legal options in Missouri for a person who fails a background check to restore their rights. 

Learning how the background check process will go before visiting the Federal Firearms Licensee dealer will put your mind at ease as you fill out the paperwork and wait for a response. It’s also advisable to have a clear idea of how the entire gun-buying procedure works in the state.

6 Steps to Buying a Gun in Missouri

The process for buying a gun in Missouri is clear and easy, but you’ll still want to follow the necessary steps. Learning your legal rights and figuring out what you wish to buy ensures you don’t look like a beginner when you walk into the shop.

1. Learn the Laws

gun laws to know about in Missouri

No permits or licenses are required to buy or carry a gun in the Missouri. You are not permitted to open carry a firearm in an angry or threatening manner while in the presence of one or more people in the state, though. The gist is that, as long as you carry your gun responsibly, you can bring it anywhere you wish unless there’s a local or building-specific law prohibiting it.

2. Choose a Gun

It’s time to select your gun once you’re aware of the laws, or lack thereof, in Missouri. Have a look at a few licensed dealers or browse through some private sellers to find the one that best suits your needs. A licensed dealer can also answer any questions you might have about specific firearms.

3. Complete a Background Check

You’ll have to go through with your background check before buying a gun from a licensed dealer. You’ll need a state ID to prove your identity during this step so the firearm dealer can process your information with the FBI.

4. Pay for the Gun

Coming up with a payment method is the next step after you’ve selected a gun and passed a background check. Most licensed dealers will accept cash, credit, debit, or check, while private sellers are more likely to want cash. 

5. Bring the Gun Home

You’re free to carry your gun in your car without any restrictions whatsoever in the state of Missouri. The weapon can be concealed on your body or elsewhere in your vehicle, as it’s a personal choice. The only restriction is that you can’t brandish the gun in a threatening manner while driving in your car.

6. Get Your Concealed Carry Permit

A concealed carry permit is no longer necessary to carry a concealed weapon in Missouri according to state law. Some cities and counties have restrictions on concealed carry firearms, but a state-approved concealed carry license overrides these local regulations. Having a concealed carry permit can also prevent you from being charged if you accidentally carry your gun into a prohibited location.

Missouri has made the process for buying a gun as simple as possible with the bare minimum of restrictions required under federal law. The same rules apply to handgun and long gun purchases, so no matter what type of gun you wish to buy, the regulations are the same.

Receive Expert Gun Training

Deciding to buy a gun in Missouri is a big step, but many gun owners also seek out training to be as safe and responsible as possible. The state doesn’t require concealed carry licensing, but it’s a good idea anyway, because there are municipal regulations you’ll have to follow, depending on where in the state you travel. Having a concealed carry permit brings peace of mind, because you can’t be charged if you bring your weapon to a prohibited location; you’ll just be asked to leave.

Concealed Coalition offers concealed carry courses and licensing that is recognized in Missouri and 36 other states. Our trainers are state approved, ensuring you can maximize your concealed carry rights in Missouri and when traveling to other parts of the country. Contact Concealed Coalition today to discuss your firearm education needs.

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