See our Carrying Concealed Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
Effective January 1, 2017, Missouri allows individuals to carry concealed firearms in most locations without first obtaining a permit. In 2016, Missouri legislators overrode the governor’s veto to enact SB 656, which repealed a state law that used to generally prohibit individuals without a permit from carrying concealed firearms. Starting January 1, 2017, the new law allows individuals without a concealed carry permit to carry concealed firearms throughout the state, except that they may not bring concealed firearms:
- Into specified locations where concealed carry by permit-holders was formerly prohibited under state law;
- Into a 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
- Onto any school bus, or onto the premises of any function or activity sponsored or sanctioned by school officials or the district school board.
However, individuals do not violate Missouri law even if they carry a concealed firearm into one of the locations specified as being prohibited if:
- The firearm is not readily accessible;
- In addition to the concealed firearm, the person is in possession of an exposed firearm for the lawful pursuit of game; or
- The person is in premises over which he or she has possession, authority or control.
For more information on the specific places where concealed carry is prohibited in Missouri, even after the enactment of SB 656, please see our page on Other Location Restrictions in Missouri.
Although it made “permitless” concealed carry lawful in most locations in Missouri, SB 656 nevertheless kept in place Missouri’s concealed carry permitting system, and made certain revisions to that system to make it easier to obtain a permit for a longer period of time. Even though a permit is now not needed to carry concealed firearms in most places within the state, individuals may still wish to obtain a Missouri concealed carry permit, because holders of Missouri permits are allowed to carry concealed weapons in some other states that recognize Missouri’s permits.
For those who seek concealed weapons permits for that purpose, Missouri is a “shall issue” state, meaning that a county or city sheriff, or his or her designee, must issue a concealed carry permit if the applicant meets certain qualifications. The sheriff must issue a concealed carry permit if the applicant:
- Is at least age 19, or is at least 18 and a member of the United States Armed Forces or honorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces;
- Is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States;
- Is either:
- A resident of Missouri; or
- A member of the armed forces stationed in Missouri, or the spouse of such military member;
- Has not pled guilty to or entered a plea of nolo contendere (no contest) or been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year under the laws of any state or of the United States, other than a crime classified as a misdemeanor punishable by a term of imprisonment of two years or less that does not involve an explosive weapon, firearm, firearm silencer or gas gun;
- Has not been convicted of, pled guilty to or entered a plea of nolo contendere (no contest) to one or more misdemeanor offenses involving crimes of violence during the immediately preceding five-year period, or has not been convicted of two or more misdemeanor offenses involving driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs or the possession or abuse of a controlled substance during the immediately preceding five-year period;
- Is not a fugitive from justice or currently charged in an information or indictment with the commission of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year under the laws of any state of the United States, other than a crime classified as a misdemeanor punishable by a term of imprisonment of two years or less that does not involve an explosive weapon, firearm, firearm silencer, or gas gun;
- Has not been discharged under dishonorable conditions from the U.S. Armed Forces;
- Has not engaged in a pattern of behavior, documented in public records, that causes the sheriff to have a reasonable belief that the applicant presents a danger to himself, herself, or others;
- Is not adjudged mentally incompetent at the time of application or for five years prior to application, or has not been committed to a mental health facility or a similar institution located in another state following a hearing at which the applicant was represented by counsel or a representative; and
- Is not the respondent of a valid “full order of protection” that is still in effect.
If the application is approved, the sheriff shall issue a concealed carry permit to the applicant within three working days after his or her approval of the application.
Missouri’s standard concealed carry permit is valid for five years. However, following the enactment of SB 656, Missouri also requires the sheriff to issue “lifetime” concealed carry permits (valid for the lifetime of the permit-holder) and “extended” concealed carry permits (valid for 10 or 25 years) to applicants who request these types of permits and who meet the qualifications for a five-year permit, but are also residents of the state of Missouri. Missouri does not require applicants for its five-year permit to be residents of Missouri if the applicant or applicant’s spouse is a member of the armed forces.
Firearm Safety Training
Applicants for a standard, extended, or lifetime concealed carry permit are required to demonstrate knowledge of firearms safety training. In 2016, Missouri loosened its requirements for firearms safety training by allowing permit applicants to satisfy some safety training requirements by taking a “regular or online course on firearm safety conducted by an instructor certified by the National Rifle Association that is at least one hour in length.” Applicants who complete a one-hour NRA course must still complete a separate course taught by a qualified safety instructor, but do not need to spend a particular number of hours in such a course. The extra course that is required in addition to the NRA course must include instruction on:
- Handgun safety techniques in the classroom, at home, on the firing range and while carrying the firearm;
- Missouri’s requirements for obtaining a concealed carry permit from the sheriff of the individual’s county of residence;
- Missouri’s laws relating to firearms;
- Missouri’s laws relating to the justifiable use of force;
- A live firing exercise of sufficient duration for each applicant to fire either a revolver or a semiautomatic pistol, from a standing position or its equivalent, a minimum of 20 rounds from the handgun at a distance of seven yards from a B-27 silhouette target or an equivalent target; and
- A live fire test administered to the applicant while the instructor is present of 20 rounds from either handgun from a standing position or its equivalent at a distance from a B-27 silhouette target, or an equivalent target, of seven yards.
Applicants for all types of concealed carry permits who do not complete an NRA course must take and pass a firearms safety course of at least eight hours in length that includes instruction on all of the above topics, plus:
- The basic principles of marksmanship;
- Care and cleaning of concealable firearms; and
- Safe storage of firearms at home.
The qualified firearms safety instructor shall affirm that the applicant received this instruction and successfully met all requirements on the certificate of firearms safety training course completion.
A qualified firearms safety instructor must not give a passing grade to any applicant who: 1) Does not follow the orders of the instructor or cognizant range officer; 2) Handles a firearm in a manner that, in the judgment of the instructor, poses a danger to the applicant or to others; or 3) During the live fire testing portion of the course, fails to hit the silhouette portion of the targets with at least 15 rounds.
Instructors are required to: 1) Make the applicant’s course records available upon request to the sheriff of the county in which the applicant resides; 2) Maintain all course records on students for a period of no less than four years from course completion date; and 3) Not have more than 40 students per certified instructor in the classroom portion of the course, or more than five students per range officer engaged in range firing.
An applicant satisfies the firearms safety training requirement if he or she:
- Submits a photocopy of a certificate of firearms safety training course completion that is signed by a qualified firearms safety instructor;
- Submits a photocopy of a certificate that shows the applicant completed a firearms safety course given by or under the supervision of any state, county, municipal, or federal law enforcement agency;
- Is a qualified firearms safety instructor;
- Submits proof that he or she currently holds any type of valid peace officer license valid under state law;
- Submits proof that the applicant is currently allowed to carry firearms in accordance with state certification requirements; or
- Submits proof that he or she is currently certified as any class of corrections officer by the Missouri department of corrections and has passed at least one eight-hour firearms training course, approved by the director of the Missouri department of corrections that includes instruction on the justifiable use of force.
An applicant must submit an affidavit attesting that he or she has complied with these concealed carry safety training requirements.
Duration & Renewal
A standard concealed carry permit is valid for five years from the last day of the month in which the permit was issued or renewed. A concealed carry “endorsement” issued prior to August 28, 2013, shall continue from the date of issuance or renewal until three years from the last day of the month in which the endorsement was issued or renewed to authorize the carrying of a concealed firearm on or about the applicant’s person or within a vehicle in the same manner as a concealed carry permit issued on or after August 28, 2013.
A “lifetime” concealed carry permit (available on request to applicants who meet the criteria for a standard permit, but are also Missouri residents) is valid for the lifetime of the permit-holder.
An “extended” concealed carry permit (available on request to applicants who meet the criteria for a standard permit, but are also Missouri residents) is valid for 10 or 25 years.
Disclosure or Use of Information
Information regarding any holder of a concealed carry permit, or a concealed carry endorsement issued prior to August 28, 2013, is a closed record. Closed records are inaccessible to the general public.
A sheriff is required to keep a record of all applications for a concealed carry permit or a provisional permit and of his or her action on such applications. The sheriff is required to report the issuance of all concealed carry permits or provisional permits to the concealed carry permit system, but an applicant’s status as a holder of a concealed carry permit, provisional permit, or a concealed carry endorsement issued prior to August 28, 2013, is not public information and must be considered personal protected information.
A valid concealed carry endorsement or permit issued by another state authorizes the permittee or endorsee to carry a concealed firearm on or about his or her person or vehicle throughout Missouri. However, these provisions do not permit the carrying of a concealed firearm in certain specified locations. See the Missouri Other Location Restrictions section.