Be Careful Around These Guests During the Holidays | Missouri

The following is a video transcript.

What are your responsibilities as a firearm owner? What do you do when someone comes to visit who is a convicted felon, intoxicated, mentally unstable, or under indictment and on bond and not allowed to have access to firearms?

As an individual in Missouri, you will not be charged with a crime if someone else comes into your home and has access to firearms unless you negligently entrust a firearm to a minor.

That does not mean that you might not want to take steps to protect your loved one or your visitor from potential criminal liability. What does it mean for a felon to possess a firearm? If a felon has access to a firearm, that can be construed as possession. If you have a relative who is visiting your home and your firearm is locked in a safe and they don’t have the combination to that safe, that is probably okay. However, the safest practice if you’re going to have visitors who are convicted felons is not to have any firearms in the home while they are there.

Intoxicated persons in Missouri can also not possess firearms. The same goes in some cases for people who are under indictment and, as a condition of their bond, are not allowed to have possession of firearms. Again, the best practice in these situations or if someone is mentally ill, not allowed to have a firearm, or not safe to be entrusted with a firearm would be to remove firearms from the home. If you are not going to remove the firearms from the home, again I recommend having them in a locked safe where the prohibited person does not have access to the safe. That way your legal bases are covered.

If someone who is legally prohibited from having a firearm borrows your vehicle, your car, or your truck, and you have a gun in that vehicle, can you be charged with a crime? The answer to that question is no. However, they could be charged with a crime. Even if they do not know the gun is in that vehicle, that is a difficult case to make. Let’s say they are stopped by the police and arrested for being a felon in possession with a firearm. They may say, “I didn’t know that gun was there.” That defense may not hold up in court. It’s best to be sure that if you are going to lend your vehicle to someone, that the person who is going to drive that car is not prohibited from having a firearm.

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