Missouri: Can I Use Force Against Someone Burglarizing My Car?

Law Shield Member Ambassador Sherry Hale:

Welcome members and fellow gun owners.

In the last Members Voice video, our member Tyler witnessed a criminal breaking into his car. Tyler drew his gun and the bad guys ran away.

The legal questions started pouring in, and members, you wanted to know your legal rights in your state. So here’s your U.S. Law Shield Independent Program Attorney to give you insight on what the law says.

Independent Program Attorney for U.S. Law Shield of Missouri:

Hi, I’m John Schleiffarth, Independent Program Attorney for U.S. Law Shield in Missouri.

If you find that someone is burglarizing your car in your driveway, the first and best thing to do is call the police.

Legally you can use force to protect your property, but you can’t use deadly force. You can use enough force that’s justified to protect your stuff. You can detain the bad guy until the police arrive. However you got to be careful that you don’t use too much force. You still can’t use deadly force to hold someone until the police come, so be careful and the best thing to do is still to call the police and let them do that job.

Whether your car is parked in your private driveway, or whether it’s in a public parking lot, you’re really in the same position in terms of what kind of force you can use to protect things from being stolen out of your car. If you’re in a position where someone is stealing things out of your car, you can use a reasonable amount of force to stop that from happening, but you can’t use deadly force unless your life or someone else’s life is being threatened.

Law Shield Member Ambassador Sherry Hale:

Educating you is the cornerstone of U.S. Law Shield. Thank you for being a part of our family.




Comment section

4 comments on “Missouri: Can I Use Force Against Someone Burglarizing My Car?

  1. Thanks, that’s good information. I recently moved from Texas to Missouri so it’s important that I understand how the law works here.

  2. I am a CCW Instructor and LEO. The example I like to use when I am teaching is what if a home owner looks out the back window and the eccentric next door neighbor is leaning over the fence trying to shoot the home owners dog? Can the home owner shoot the crazy neighbor to protect the dog? No, because a dog is considered property.

    The situation changes if the home owner yells a warning and the crazy neighbor then points the gun at the home owner. When the smoke clears call 911 and US Law Shield.

  3. Brings up an interesting question! Can I “wing them?” Ya know, shoot them in the foot? If not, bop them with a bat? I presume that “deadly force” is something you could reasonably assume would cause death.
    What can you use/do to stop them without the rankles of the law pestering you?

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