Let’s cover the basics of purchasing and possessing a firearm in the State of Missouri. In order to purchase a handgun in the State of Missouri, you have to be at least 21 years old if you’re purchasing from a licensed dealer. That’s because of a federal law that requires you to be 21.

You only need to be 18 years old to possess a handgun in the State of Missouri. Now when it comes to long guns or rifles, both federal law and the State of Missouri line up; you need to be 18 years old to purchase a long gun in the State of Missouri.

When there’s a conflict between state and federal law, remember that the federal law will normally prevail and preempt the state law. State laws again can be more restrictive but not less restrictive than the federal law. Something that we may see litigated in the future is whether commercial establishments can place their own restrictions on firearm purchase that are greater than state or federal law. For instance, if a sporting goods retailer were to say, “we’re not gonna sell rifles to anyone under the age of 21 in the State of Missouri,” that is something that has not been litigated yet, but may be in the future.