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Thread: MO Car Carry vs Local Code

  1. #1
    Regular Member HP995's Avatar
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    Question MO Car Carry vs Local Code

    (Howdy all, a lurker finally signs up!)

    I want to exercise the right to carry a handgun in car (MO: "concealable firearm in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle") and doing some research in preparation, I keep seeing local laws that seem to conflict with it in city and county code. This especially shows up in code for parks. For example, Jackson county code chapter 50* and 55**. Cities have similar code.

    Usually (although not always) city and county local codes explicitly mentions an exception for CCW, matching the state law, but they don't do that for the car carry. And although the state law is about a "concealable" arm, that just means a handgun, and yes my question relates to the OC lifestyle because this part of the law is for people who do not have a CCW permit. I plan to use car carry extensively and OC where allowed, and I don't have CCW.

    Does anyone know for sure whether the state car carry law trumps local ordinance in this type of situation, where the firearm remains in the vehicle while driving through or parking in the park?

    This is important to me because I often visit the Jackson country parks, and am hoping I can continue doing that after I start to car carry.

    If the local restrictions prevail over the state car carry, that certainly would make it difficult to utilize the intended freedom and self defense protection of that state law in practice, because so many local ordinances prohibit firearms. (Not to mention sling shots and pea shooters! )

    * 5015. Firearms and Other Weapons.
    No person other than police officers or others authorized by law shall use, carry or possess
    any long bow, cross bow or sling shot, pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, air gun, spring gun or
    any other weapon in which the force used to propel projectiles is gun powder, air,
    compressed air or springs, or any instrument that can be loaded with and fire blank
    cartridges, on any Jackson County Park System property except at shooting ranges
    authorized by the director of parks and recreation or as otherwise permitted by this chapter.
    (Ord. 1447, Eff. 07/11/86)

    ** 5534.3 Weapons on Public Property.
    No person shall carry any firearm, blackjack, martial arts instrument, knuckles, knife,
    projectile weapon, gas gun, switchblade or butterfly knife, stun gun or taser, or any
    other weapon readily capable of lethal use onto any property belonging to or leased
    by the county. This subsection shall not apply to any person who has a valid
    concealed carry endorsement issued pursuant to 571.094, RSMo, or a valid permit
    or endorsement to carry concealed firearms issued by another state or political
    subdivision of another state, with regard to the carrying of the type of firearm
    specified in the endorsement or permit. (Ord. 2106, Eff. 6/16/92; Ord. 3423, Eff. 10-
    08-03; Ord. 3866, Eff. 01/23/07)

  2. #2
    Regular Member mspgunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HP995 View Post
    (Howdy all, a lurker finally signs up!)

    I want to exercise the right to carry a handgun in car (MO: "concealable firearm in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle") and doing some research in preparation, I keep seeing local laws that seem to conflict with it in city and county code. This especially shows up in code for parks. For example, Jackson county code chapter 50* and 55**. Cities have similar code.

    Usually (although not always) city and county local codes explicitly mentions an exception for CCW, matching the state law, but they don't do that for the car carry. And although the state law is about a "concealable" arm, that just means a handgun, and yes my question relates to the OC lifestyle because this part of the law is for people who do not have a CCW permit. I plan to use car carry extensively and OC where allowed, and I don't have CCW.

    Does anyone know for sure whether the state car carry law trumps local ordinance in this type of situation, where the firearm remains in the vehicle while driving through or parking in the park?

    This is important to me because I often visit the Jackson country parks, and am hoping I can continue doing that after I start to car carry.

    If the local restrictions prevail over the state car carry, that certainly would make it difficult to utilize the intended freedom and self defense protection of that state law in practice, because so many local ordinances prohibit firearms. (Not to mention sling shots and pea shooters! )

    * 5015. Firearms and Other Weapons.
    No person other than police officers or others authorized by law shall use, carry or possess
    any long bow, cross bow or sling shot, pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, air gun, spring gun or
    any other weapon in which the force used to propel projectiles is gun powder, air,
    compressed air or springs, or any instrument that can be loaded with and fire blank
    cartridges, on any Jackson County Park System property except at shooting ranges
    authorized by the director of parks and recreation or as otherwise permitted by this chapter.
    (Ord. 1447, Eff. 07/11/86)

    ** 5534.3 Weapons on Public Property.
    No person shall carry any firearm, blackjack, martial arts instrument, knuckles, knife,
    projectile weapon, gas gun, switchblade or butterfly knife, stun gun or taser, or any
    other weapon readily capable of lethal use onto any property belonging to or leased
    by the county. This subsection shall not apply to any person who has a valid
    concealed carry endorsement issued pursuant to 571.094, RSMo, or a valid permit
    or endorsement to carry concealed firearms issued by another state or political
    subdivision of another state, with regard to the carrying of the type of firearm
    specified in the endorsement or permit. (Ord. 2106, Eff. 6/16/92; Ord. 3423, Eff. 10-
    08-03; Ord. 3866, Eff. 01/23/07)
    Missouri law (State Statutes) in regard to the CCW are preempted. That is "local laws" are not valid. You have to read the Missouri State firearms laws. OC and local discharge of a firearm are the only ones NOT preempted by Missouri Law asit related to firearms..

    Again, you must read the Missouri law. Federal Alws also apply, for example you may not have a firearm on PostOffice property, that does include your vehicle, same goes for the VA. system, military bases....those are Federal laws. Other than Federal property you may have a concealed firearm in your vehicle. I do not know of any native american tribes with land in Missouri, if there are, no go there either. Tribal land has their own laws, this exists in other States.
    If you pull it, you use it. If you pull it and you don't use it, you've done some thing wrong and you might not get another chance. Think about it before you pack it!
    I worked 24/7 for 2A OC rights! Don't like what I did? Try it yourself, it was my full time job!
    Certified NRA Range Safety Officer - RSO

  3. #3
    Regular Member HP995's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mspgunner View Post
    Missouri law (State Statutes) in regard to the CCW are preempted. That is "local laws" are not valid. You have to read the Missouri State firearms laws. OC and local discharge of a firearm are the only ones NOT preempted by Missouri Law asit related to firearms..

    Again, you must read the Missouri law.
    Howdy,

    Yes, the MO state law is where I started reading first, before looking at local laws, and I quoted that relevant phrase about car carry from it previously. Here's the full context:
    571.030. 1. A person commits the crime of unlawful use of weapons if he or she knowingly:

    (1) Carries concealed upon or about his or her person a knife, a firearm, a blackjack or any other weapon readily capable of lethal use; or

    ...

    3. Subdivisions (1), (5), (8), and (10) of subsection 1 of this section do not apply when the actor is transporting such weapons in a nonfunctioning state or in an unloaded state when ammunition is not readily accessible or when such weapons are not readily accessible. Subdivision (1) of subsection 1 of this section does not apply to any person twenty-one years of age or older or eighteen years of age or older and a member of the United States Armed Forces, or honorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces, transporting a concealable firearm in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle, so long as such concealable firearm is otherwise lawfully possessed, nor when the actor is also in possession of an exposed firearm or projectile weapon for the lawful pursuit of game, or is in his or her dwelling unit or upon premises over which the actor has possession, authority or control, or is traveling in a continuous journey peaceably through this state. Subdivision (10) of subsection 1 of this section does not apply if the firearm is otherwise lawfully possessed by a person while traversing school premises for the purposes of transporting a student to or from school, or possessed by an adult for the purposes of facilitation of a school-sanctioned firearm-related event or club event.
    I've emphasized the parts that relate with bold. So, the car carry is an exception to the code against concealed carry.

    Meanwhile, the local Jackson park ordinances have a blanket ban on weapons. Is that a bit different?

    I want to be absolutely sure about this. (Unsure = legally vulnerable.) I'm hoping you're right, but I'm not taking it for granted. I would appreciate if you could show me a bit of support for your position, for example the preemption wording or court decisions, or whatever might be decisive.

    (I've found legal decisions that absolutely pin down the MO Castle Doctrine, for example, and from what judges stated about the cases, it's clear that vehicle self defense in MO is considered a natural extension of home self defense. So I do believe that the car carry code should act the same way. But the cases I found were dealing only with the wording of the castle doctrine (use of force) code, and not the car carry code here.)

    If anyone has seen a legal decision involving the car carry code please share it! Thanks.

  4. #4
    Regular Member WCEarp's Avatar
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    RsMO 21.750- Firearms legislation preemption by General Assembly; is the statue you need to reference to. It states that political subdivisons have to conform exactly to 571.010-571.070 except for open carry and discharge of firearms.

    So it covers you for having a concealed firearm in your car. Except for places banned by Federal law.
    Last edited by WCEarp; 12-05-2012 at 09:43 AM. Reason: forgot the Federal law part

  5. #5
    Regular Member HP995's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WCEarp View Post
    RsMO 21.750- Firearms legislation preemption by General Assembly; is the statue you need to reference to. It states that political subdivisons have to conform exactly to 571.010-571.070 except for open carry and discharge of firearms.

    So it covers you for having a concealed firearm in your car. Except for places banned by Federal law.
    Awesome! Here's the text:

    Missouri Revised Statutes, Chapter 21, General Assembly, Section 21.750
    August 28, 2012

    Firearms legislation preemption by general assembly, exceptions--limitation on civil recovery against firearms or ammunitions manufacturers, when, exception.

    21.750. 1. The general assembly hereby occupies and preempts the entire field of legislation touching in any way firearms, components, ammunition and supplies to the complete exclusion of any order, ordinance or regulation by any political subdivision of this state. Any existing or future orders, ordinances or regulations in this field are hereby and shall be null and void except as provided in subsection 3 of this section.

    2. No county, city, town, village, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state shall adopt any order, ordinance or regulation concerning in any way the sale, purchase, purchase delay, transfer, ownership, use, keeping, possession, bearing, transportation, licensing, permit, registration, taxation other than sales and compensating use taxes or other controls on firearms, components, ammunition, and supplies except as provided in subsection 3 of this section.

    3. Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit any ordinance of any political subdivision which conforms exactly with any of the provisions of sections 571.010 to 571.070, with appropriate penalty provisions, or which regulates the open carrying of firearms readily capable of lethal use or the discharge of firearms within a jurisdiction, provided such ordinance complies with the provisions of section 252.243.
    Thanks for pointing me to that, it makes me more confident, and it's great to see the specific wording.

    The state law says "so long as such concealable firearm is otherwise lawfully possessed" and (as I read it) preempts localities from punishing people for a crime of concealed carry (not necessarily other offenses) when the concealed carry is done in a car.

    The way that looks to me, I agree with both of you in my own understanding.

    However, I'm neither a lawyer or a judge, judicial opinion about the legalese wording being the one that counts in the end, so I want to be sure that the restrictive local ordinance cannot possibly be considered to "conform" to the state's language on this. I'm going to try to find a court opinion dealing with this type of situation if possible. Once there is a court decision, other judges tend to use the interpretation as a guide and follow suit on that aspect.

    The "otherwise lawfully possessed" sounds logically just a gun that's not obtained illegally, but I will hope to be sure that the wording couldn't open a loophole for a local ordinance against "possession" on their property.

    Thanks again for the info, and anyone please let me know if you find any further confirmation. I'll do the same.

    (If I seem a bit paranoid, I am! I've read about enough tricky legal interpretations and technicalities used to target good people, so I'm going to be cautious about understanding the law. One thing that's absolutely wonderful is the Castle Doctrine, you can imagine how many people that's helped, and how many innocent people suffered through a difficult and expensive legal nightmare to defend their actions, after defending their lives, before it was enacted. I hope we can get more laws like that, and I hope we can have a preemption state-wide for open carry without any permit or restriction.)

    Loving the forum.

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