The following is a video transcript.
School is back in session and you’re getting ready to drop your kids off at their new classes for the year. Can you have a firearm in your car or truck? Do you know how school zones affect your gun rights? As a general rule, Missouri prohibits the carrying of a firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, into any school, onto any school bus, and onto the premises of any function or activity sponsored or sanctioned by school officials or the district school board.
CARRYING IN A VEHICLE
If you’re transporting a child to or from school, Missouri law allows you to possess a firearm in your vehicle. You cannot display the firearm or remove it from your vehicle. Even with a concealed carry permit, you’re not allowed to carry a firearm into any higher education institution, or elementary or secondary school facility without the consent of the governing body of the school.
EXCEPTIONS AND CAVEATS
One exception is if the person with the concealed carry endorsement or permit is a teacher or administrator of elementary or secondary schools who has been designated by his or her school district as a school protection officer, and they are carrying a concealed firearm in a school within that district. In that case, no additional consent is required.
It is prohibited to carry a firearm in any portion of a building used as a childcare facility without the consent of the manager. Whether you’re carrying in a school zone or other prohibited location, there is an important caveat to understand: if you have a valid concealed carry permit, it’s not a crime to carry in a prohibited place, including schools or childcare facilities. If you accidentally carry in one of these places, you could be asked to leave. If you refuse to leave, you would be cited with trespassing. On a first offense the maximum penalty is a $100.00 fine.
What if the school, which your kids attend, is located at a church? The rules for guns in school still apply. In addition, you would need the permission of the governing body of the church to carry in the church building. That being said, the same exception still applies regarding concealed carry permit holders, who would not be committing a crime.
For any questions regarding carrying in a school zone, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.