Understanding RSMo § 571.030 | Unlawful Use of Weapons
What Is Section 571.030?
Sometimes, it may feel as though citizens need an advanced law degree to understand state laws, especially when these laws are lengthy and contain complex legal jargon. Fortunately, the experienced attorneys at The Hammer Law Firm, LLC are here to break down weapon laws in the state of Missouri as outlined in the Missouri Revised Statutes (RSMo).
Section 571.030 (RSMo § 571.030) contains all uses of weapons considered unlawful in Missouri, as well as any exceptions and penalties. There are substantial exceptions for people in occupations that require weapon use, such as police officers and those serving in the military.
The uses of weapons prohibited by Section 571.030 in the state of Missouri include:
- Carrying a concealed weapon readily capable of lethal use into an area in which firearms are restricted
- Setting a spring gun, such as a fused or timed explosive device
- Shooting a firearm into a house, train, boat, aircraft, motor vehicle, or any building used for the assembling of people, such as a church
- Threatening a person or group of people with a firearm, or even displaying it in an angry manner
- Possessing a lethal firearm or projectile weapon ready for use while intoxicated, and using it negligently
- Shooting a firearm within 100 yards of an occupied school, courthouse, or church
- Shooting a firearm at a mark, object, or at random along a public highway or into any outbuilding, such as a garage
- Carrying a deadly weapon readily available for use into a place of religious worship, an election precinct on election day, or into a government building
- Shooting a firearm at or from a motor vehicle or at any person or building
- Carrying a loaded or unloaded weapon capable of lethal use into a school, school bus, or on the premise of a school-sponsored event
- Possessing a firearm while also in possession of a controlled substance
Are There Any Exceptions for Civilians?
As with any law, there are some exceptions to Section 571.030 for civilians. For instance, if a person has a government-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon, then they are not subject to some of these prohibitions. Similarly, if the firearm in question was broken or unloaded, many of the above prohibitions do not apply. Another exception worth mentioning is if the firearm in question was being used to legally hunt game at the time of the offense.
Legal Consequences of Violating RSMo § 571.030
According to the outlined prohibitions and exceptions, individuals allegedly in violation of Section 571.030 may be charged with one of the following felonies or misdemeanors based on the severity of the offense:
- Class A felony: Imprisonment for anytime between 10 and 30 years, or a life sentence.
- Class B felony: Imprisonment for anytime between 5 and 15 years.
- Class E felony: Imprisonment for up to 4 years, or 1 year in jail. Felons may also face fines up to $10,000.
- Class A misdemeanor: A jail sentence up to a year long, or a fine as large as $2,000. In some cases, offenders face both a jail sentence and a fine.
- Class B misdemeanor: A jail sentence up to six months long, or a fine as large as $1,000.
Violations of Section 571.030 do not warrant a clear-cut felony or misdemeanor, as charges hinge on the details of the offense. For example, if a person carries a lethal weapon into a school, they can be charged with a class A misdemeanor if the weapon is unloaded. If the weapon is loaded, the charge will be increased to a class E felony. Furthermore, if a person violates Section 571.030 and has previously violated other laws, their sentence could omit the possibility of parole or probation. Therefore, it is vital to work with an experienced lawyer.
Options Available to Individuals Facing Unlawful Charges
For more than 30 years, our attorneys at The Hammer Law Firm, LLC have successfully represented clients facing charges for the alleged illegal use of weapons. As former prosecutors, we know how the prosecutor in your case might fight in the courtroom—they can and will use this insight to your advantage. Convictions for weapon crimes can have significant, long-term ramifications: prison time, jail time, or substantial fines. Once convicted, felons have their Second Amendment right to bear arms permanently taken away from them. Don’t be the victim of unwarranted charges, don’t lose your Second Amendment rights. The Hammer Law Firm, LLC will work one-on-one with you to fight for justice.
Call (314) 334-3807 to request a free consultation.