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Can You Shoot on Your Property in Missouri?

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While the constitution allows for every citizen (unless prohibited by law) to bear arms, every state has its own interpretation of the law. This is why each state has its own gun control laws in a bid to protect the life of its residents while still allowing them to enjoy the rights they are entitled to under the second amendment.

Missouri, while not the friendliest gun state, has some relaxed rules and regulations that make it easier for gun owners in the area. If you are in that area and may want to enjoy shooting on your property, the information below may be of use to you.

Can You Shoot on Your Property in Missouri?

Yes, you can shoot on your property in Missouri thanks to its relaxed gun control laws. However, you need to know that different cities and towns may have their own guidelines on the same as there are no direct statutes in the State law defining such incidences.

Some areas may only allow you to shoot on a property outside city limits to minimize the risk of injuring people in the vicinity and to prevent noise disturbance in the city. Thus, before you get started, you need to contact the local authorities and find out if there are any unique regulations for your locality.

city of columbia missouri

The top three things to pay attention to are:

  • Eligibility
  • Dealing with intruders
  • Prohibited weapons

Eligibility

In order to legally shoot on your property, you must be eligible to own and operate a firearm. In Missouri, there are some individuals that are not allowed to be in possession of a firearm.

Failure to abide by this could lead to being charged with a class D felony, meaning you could face up to seven years in prison. According to an article by Criminal Defense Lawyer, these individuals include:

  • Convicted felon
  • Fugitive
  • A drug or alcohol addict
  • Legally mentally incompetent individual

Federal law also prohibits the following from being in possession of a weapon:

  • Former military members dishonorably discharged
  • Domestic violence misdemeanor convict
  • Anyone with a domestic violence restraining order
  • Anyone using drugs that are considered controlled substances by federal law

Ensure that you don’t fall in any of these categories and neither do the people that you invite to shoot with you. Offering a weapon to any such individual is also a serious offence.

gun with bullets on a table

Dealing With Intruders

Although the Missouri state laws do not use the term ‘castle doctrine’, there is a stipulation for protecting yourself against intruders. According to an article by US Law Shield, you can use deadly force if you reasonably believe that it is necessary for the protection of yourself or others against serious physical injury, death, or a forcible felony.

The locations in which this law applies include your residence, private property owned or leased, legally owned vehicle or property you are allowed to occupy. Instances in which the law does not apply include:

  • A fleeing burglar
  • Someone knocking on your door
  • Setting up a spring gun if you are not home

Prohibited Weapons

Missouri also has a list of prohibited weapons and ammunition that you should not be in possession of even at home. However, it has no laws on assault weapons or large-capacity magazines. This list also includes weapons that are banned under Federal law. According to the NRA-ILA, these weapons include:

  • Silencer
  • Body piercing ammunition
  • Bullet or projectile that explodes upon impact due to an independent charge
  • Rifle or shotgun shorter than 26’’ overall length
  • Machine gun
  • Rifle less than 16”
  • Shotgun less than 18”
  • Gas gun
black gun with scope

Conclusion

To shoot freely on your property, you need to fully understand instances when it may illegal. Whether you are shooting alone or you have a few friends over, you need to make sure that you observe all the safety rules. This includes following basic firearm handling rules and avoiding prohibited weapons.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created KeepGunsSafe.com with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.