SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Missouri is a permitless carry state, which means that anyone who can legally own and use a firearm can carry a concealed weapon. What, then, is the point of a concealed carry permit in Missouri?

“I think it’s very important for people to get training,” said Roger Moore, a partner and trainer at Peacekeepers Training. “Unfortunately, a lot of people buy a gun but then they don’t take the steps to learn how to properly use that gun.”

Moore said that he suggests formal weapons training even for people who have a lot of experience around them.

“I honestly have run across a lot of folks who grew up around firearms — hunting and things like that — but carrying a firearm for personal protection is a different world.”

Missouri not only allows for legal gun owners to conceal carry without a permit but also for people to openly carry weapons. There are no special restrictions or differences when it comes to concealed carry and open carry laws.

“From a tactics point of view, I strongly discourage open carry to people who are going to carry a firearm,” Moore said. “That’s just because you don’t want to tell the bad guy who to shoot first.”

Missouri also doesn’t place many restrictions on the type of weapon you can conceal or open carry. Moore advised that openly carrying long weapons is a bad idea, as it brings attention to the carrier.

“Guns are kind of like parachutes,” Moore said. “If you ever need one and you don’t have one, then you’re unlikely to need one again.”

Where Does a Missouri CCW Permit Work?

If you’re traveling across state lines with a weapon, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Not all states have the same openness to concealed weapons as Missouri.

“I really encourage people to make sure that if you’re traveling, do a little research before you go to that jurisdiction,” Moore said.

MO permit not validCalifornia, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington
MO permit valid if you’re over 21Alaska, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Virginia
MO permit valid with written agreementMississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio, South Dakota and Texas
MO permit valid with no/little restrictionsAll other states
Information courtesy of Missouri Attorney General’s website

Where Can Someone Carry in Missouri?

Some of the most notable places you are not allowed to carry a weapon include:

  • A law enforcement office or station without consent from the chief law enforcement officer.
  • Within 25 feet of a polling place on election day.
  • Any adult or juvenile detention or correctional facility.
  • Any courthouse.
  • Any meeting place for local government or general assembly.
  • Any building licensed to sell alcohol unless you have consent from the owner or manager. If it’s a restaurant, the business has to receive at least 51% of its income from food for someone to legally carry a weapon in it.
  • Airports.
  • Any school, college, or university without the consent of school officials.
  • Child care facilities without consent from the manager.
  • Riverboats without consent.
  • Amusement parks.
  • Churches.

One of the benefits of getting a concealed carry permit is that it allows you to carry a weapon in a few places that permitless carriers cannot. For example, someone with a concealed carry permit can carry inside of a church but someone carrying without a permit cannot take their weapon inside. These special exceptions are covered in the class required for people to get a CCW permit.

Generally, no one can carry weapons inside a federal area unless they are a part of a security or military team.

If the owner of private property has decided that the area is off-limits to concealed firearms, firearms are not allowed. The property owner has to have a sign prohibiting firearms in a prominent space. This is why people are not allowed to carry firearms in places such as shopping malls. Elishsha Dicken, the man who used his concealed weapon to bring down the shooter at Indiana’s Greenwood Park Mall on July 17, 2022. was not supposed to have his weapon inside the building.

How to Get a Concealed Carry Permit in Missouri

People who want to get a carry concealed weapons permit for the first time need to make an appointment at the Greene County Justice Center. At this appointment, applicants need:

  • A Missouri driver’s license.
  • Proof of proper training.
  • $100 for a carry concealed weapon application fee.

“The concealed carry program is basically a one-day safety course that meets the requirement of statute to receive a CCW license from the state of Missouri,” Moore said. Depending on how many people sign up, Peacekeepers Training periodically holds its CCW permit training courses at Missouri State University’s indoor range.

People who have been convicted of a felony or are under the age of 18 may not get a concealed carry permit or possess a firearm in Missouri unless they have a unique situation. Interestingly, felons can own antique firearms legally in Missouri and hunt with them. Felony convictions do not take away a person’s right to hunt — only to own modern firearms.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Office and other permit-issuing organizations in Missouri are not allowed to give out information on who has a concealed carry permit or how many permits it has issued, so it can be difficult to know how many permits have been issued in the area.