Lending your gun to someone in Missouri is legal in most instances. In order to ensure you stay legal, it is important to understand the law, as it pertains to lending a gun in Missouri. Being informed can help you mitigate the risks associated with lending your gun.
You may legally lend your gun to a third party for self-defense, in Missouri, provided that the third party is otherwise able to lawfully possess a gun. Missouri law will hold you criminally liable if you knowingly lend your gun to a prohibited person, or recklessly lend your gun to an intoxicated person.
Prohibited Persons and Minors
What prohibits a person from being eligible to legally possess a gun? Under Missouri law, convicted felons, fugitives from justice, persons known to be habitually drugged or intoxicated, and persons adjudged to be mentally incompetent are prohibited from possessing guns. Federal law also prohibits persons convicted of crimes of domestic violence from possessing guns.
It is illegal to lend a firearm to a minor without parental consent. You should get parental consent in writing if you choose to lend your gun to a minor.
Lending a Gun
So, how do you go about safely and responsibly lending a gun? First, make sure you don’t have indications the person you lend to is a convicted felon. If you don’t know them well in the first place, it is probably not a good idea to lend them your gun. Make sure the person you lend to is mentally sound, or if you have any reason to believe the person is not mentally sound or is on drugs don’t lend to them. Don’t lend to people who have made statements about hurting themselves or others. If they have made statements about hurting themselves or others, don’t lend to them. Never assume.
Remember that you could be sued and held civilly liable if you negligently loan your gun. For example, let’s say that an angry neighbor who smells of alcohol comes to you and asks to borrow your gun to protect themselves from someone who wants to do them harm. Under those circumstances loaning a gun to your neighbor would likely be a crime under RSMo 571.060. Recklessly lending a gun to an intoxicated person is a Class A misdemeanor. If someone gets hurt with your gun, you may be held civilly liable as well.
If you have any additional questions regarding lending a firearm in Missouri, please call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.