Lending your gun to someone for self-defense, in Missouri, is legal in many instances. In order to ensure you stay legal, it is important to understand the law, as it pertains to lending a gun in Missouri. Lending your gun carries some risks. If you are informed, you can mitigate those risks.
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 only 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.
You may not lend a firearm to a minor without parental consent. Doing so is a crime. It is highly advisable to have that consent in writing, if you choose to lend your gun out to a minor.
Lending a Gun
So, how do you go about safely and responsibly lending a gun? First, make sure that you don’t have reason to believe that 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 is at least 18 years old. Make sure the person you lend to is mentally sound, or that you don’t have reason to believe otherwise. If they have made statements about hurting themselves or others, don’t lend to them. Never assume a risk you are not willing to take on.
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 comes to you, and asks to borrow your gun to protect themselves from someone who wants to do them harm. Your neighbor smells of alcohol. Loaning your gun to that neighbor, in those circumstances, would likely be a crime under RSMo 571.060. The reckless lending of your 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.
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