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Exceptions to felony unlawful use of a weapon

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2024 | Gun Charges

Most gun owners in Missouri take the responsibility of carrying a firearm very seriously. However, it is still important to understand what situations could result in gun charges for unlawful use of a weapon and where exceptions exist.

The following situations can lead to an unlawful use of a weapon charge:

  • Brandishing a gun in a threatening manner.
  • Carrying a concealed weapon into a restricted place such as an airport, bar, courthouse, police station or other restricted area.
  • Carrying a gun into a school, onto a school bus or at a school-sanctioned event or school board meeting.
  • Carrying a lethal weapon into a church or government building such as a polling place.
  • Discharging a gun while intoxicated.
  • Discharging a gun within 100 yards of a church, courthouse or school.
  • Discharging a gun at a motor vehicle or from a motor vehicle.
  • Firing a gun at any person, discharging a warning shot or setting up a spring shot.
  • Possessing a gun while in possession of a controlled substance.

Many of these charges are felony charges, including possessing a gun while in possession of a controlled substance. This is an extremely important law for you to be aware of.

Simply possessing a firearm while also possessing drugs at the same time could automatically boost your firearm charge up from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Exceptions for groups of people

There are some exceptions to these laws. Some apply to certain groups of people. Police officers, military members, parole officers and prison officials are examples of individuals who are typically excluded from these regulations.

Some other exceptions exist. If the guns were not loaded and you did not have access to ammunition, then some of the above actions would not result in criminal charges.

Additionally, you should not face criminal charges if you are transporting the gun in a non-functioning state. Having a valid permit to carry a concealed firearm through Missouri or any other state should also not result in criminal charges for some of the above acts.

Weapons charges come with serious penalties. Unlawful use of a firearm penalties ranges from years in prison to thousands of dollars in fines.

A conviction also means a permanent criminal record which could damage your reputation among family and friends and cost you future educational or employment opportunities.

Prosecutors often take weapons charges very seriously, due to the dangerousness of the crimes. It is important to quickly act if you are facing a weapons charge and explore potential criminal defenses that are available. You have rights under the law that deserve protection.