The season for tornadoes has arrived, and if the past few years have shown us anything, it’s that you can never be too prepared for what Mother Nature has in store…

Missouri is also exposed to earthquakes. Statistically speaking, the New Madrid fault is bound to produce another large earthquake in the future. In the Great Earthquake of 1811, portions of the Mississippi River turned upstream. If man-made or natural disaster strikes, how will your right to carry be affected in Missouri?

What The Law Says

There are no emergency powers that allow the government to seize your firearms. In 2014, Missouri passed a constitutional amendment strengthening protections against government intrusions on a citizen’s right to bear arms Article 1, Section 23 now reads:

“That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms, ammunition, and accessories, typical to the normal function of such arms in defense of his home person, family, and property, or when lawfully summoned in the aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned. The rights guaranteed by this section shall be unalienable. Any restrictions on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny. And the state of Missouri shall be obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the general assembly from enacting general laws, which limit the rights of convicted violent felons or those adjudicated by a court to be a danger to self or others as a result of a mental disorder or mental infirmity.”

Missouri’s constitutional designation of the right to bear arms as unalienable is a significant protection. The requirement the courts apply strict scrutiny to laws affecting your right to carry has been applied similarly in other states to strike down emergency power laws. Even in the midst of evacuating for emergency, you retain your right to carry on your person and in your vehicle. Your gun rights remain constant during emergencies. Nothing changes in Missouri.

For questions on what to do in the event of a natural disaster or state of emergency, contact U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.


ALERT: Make sure to check all state and local laws and reach out to your Independent Program Attorney as you prepare for emergency situations. Click here for the latest webinar discussion regarding travel restrictions during a pandemic with Sam Malone, featuring Independent Program Attorneys David Katz, James Reeves, Emily Taylor, and Richard Hayes.

The preceding should not be construed as legal advice nor the creation of an attorney-client relationship. This is not an endorsement or solicitation for any service. Your situation may be different, so please contact your attorney regarding your specific circumstances. Because the laws, judges, juries, and prosecutors vary from location to location, similar or even identical facts and circumstances to those described in this presentation may result in significantly different legal outcomes. This presentation is by no means a guarantee or promise of any particular legal outcome, positive, negative, or otherwise.