Missouri is one of several states that allow the carrying of concealed and loaded firearms in public without a permit. While that means the state is very lenient when it comes to carrying firearms, there are still some restrictions that gun owners should keep in mind.
For example, you’re out one day with a handgun on your person. You maintain that you need the firearm for self-defense, so you can’t leave it back home. You want to travel to another part of town, so you walk to the closest bus station for a ride. Moments after you get onboard a bus, an officer asks you to step out of the vehicle. Complying with the order, you step out to speak with the officer. Suddenly, the officer moves to take you into custody, explaining that he noticed you were carrying a firearm and that you were attempting to bring it onboard a bus.
Did you just commit a crime by bringing a gun to a bus ride?
State laws on bringing guns onboard a bus
According to Missouri law, it’s a crime to bring a gun to a bus. Specifically, a person who boards either a passenger bus or coach bus with a firearm (concealed or not) is committing a felony. Only law enforcement personnel or commercial security personnel may be able to bring their firearms onboard a bus, or if the individual has the expressed consent of the owner of the bus.
It’s also a felony to bring a firearm within a bus terminal or similar depot operated by a transportation company, as well as any adjacent parking areas to the terminal.
But why would there be any confusion about allowing guns on buses?
Gun possession on buses not yet legalized
In April, the Missouri House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow gun owners to carry their weapons on public buses and inside churches. The bill, however, still needs to pass through the Senate and receive final approval from the governor before it can be enforced. Until then, it’s illegal to bring a gun on a bus.
Unlawful possession of a firearm in Missouri is a Class D felony, which carries a $10,000 fine and up to seven years of jail time.
Gun offenses don’t just lead to jail time and costly fines, but also leave a lasting mark on a person’s criminal record. If you are facing illegal gun possession charges, consider consulting with a legal professional with gun law experience. A lawyer can help you understand your rights as a gun owner and find ways to reduce your penalties.