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Thread: Visiting Missouri

  1. #1
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    I'll be driving to North Carolina for the NRA annual meeting and I thought I'd take in some sights along the way. Of primary interest is Fort Leonard Wood. That's where I trained while in the Army and I thought I'd pay a visit to see the museums and just take a look around. I also intend to go see the Gateway Arch and the St. Louis Zoo if time allows.

    I have a Florida CWL and I intend to travel armed as permitted by law. I do not have a proper holster for the M1911 yet, that's one thing I intend to acquire at the NRA annual meeting, so it will ride in the center console of my truck for the majority of the ride. First question is what unarmed victim zones should I be aware of?

    It would seem that one must disarm before entering the Gateway Arch. What of the zoo? Fort Leonard Wood may be problematic since I will have firearms in the truck (LOTS of firearms, I'll be going hunting and target shooting with my brother in law while in North Carolina) and I imagine entering the Army post with them might cause a bit of a problem given recent events. Suggestions on how to handle this is appreciated.

    I'll probably just sleep in the truck to save money. Is it safe and legal to sleep at a highway rest stop overnight? What other accommodations should I consider? Are there campgrounds or parks that might be cheap or free to spend the night on the way? I really only require a place to park the truck while I nap that won't be in anyone's way and that has toilet facilities nearby so I can brush my teeth and such before nodding off. What are the weapon policies for the rest stop, parks, etc.?

    Also of interest is getting internet access. While traveling it would be nice to be able to check on Google Maps, get the weather, news, etc. so I can best plan my trip. My brother in law tells me that McDonald's has free WiFi. That's news to me since I haven't been to a McDonald's in years, I'm just not fond of their food. He also tells me that Starbucks has started to charge a fee for its WiFi access.

    Thanks in advance for the information. I look forward to the input.

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    Regular Member Broondog's Avatar
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    the St. Louis Zoo is inside the city limits of St. Louis proper so OC is out of the question, but their website says nothing of any firearms regulations, so it looks like CC is acceptable.

    http://www.stlzoo.org/yourvisit/zooservices/

    Zoo Policies For the safety and welfare of our animals and visitors, the following are prohibited:
    • Smoking is prohibited, except in designated smoking areas (see map for locations)
    • Dogs or other pets (service pets are permitted)
    • Feeding the animals
    • Entering non-public areas
    • Balloons
    • Bicycles (racks are available at entrances)
    • Skates, skateboards, roller blades or scooters
    • Loud radios
    • Lasers
    • Distribution of any advertisement, circular or handbill, or solicitation of funds or pledges of contributions within Zoo property
    • Personal video and photography are permitted, provided they don't interrupt the visitor experience for others
    • Student/commercial filming must be approved by the Zoo's Public Relations Department in advance
    Your cooperation with these rules is appreciated.

    i can't find much on MO Rest Areas. as for sleeping there, since the truckers do it all the time, why not you? i used to back in "the day", read 1980's. i would also assume that they abide by the MO law so firearm possession should not be a problem. notice i said "assume". here is the link to the Eagleville Rest Area, the first one you would encounter should you enter MO vis I-35 south. http://www.modot.org/services/travel...leville_sb.htm

    here's the link to the Missouri State Parks website for you to look thru. as for privately owned campgrounds you are on your own, though KOA seems to be rather abundant. http://www.mostateparks.com/


    hopefully some of this information will prove useful.

    enjoy your trip through MO!


    I'm the one who's gotta die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.
    Jimi Hendrix

    NRA Benefactor Member & 03 FFL

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    Regular Member Superlite27's Avatar
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    I am unfamiliar with the zoo, so no info on that. It isn't a federal building, so IMHO (IANAL) no sign: you're good to go.

    You're good to go without a sign, as well, as it is not a criminal offense to ignore them here. You can only be asked to leave, and if you refuse THEN you can be charged with tresspassing. So, if someone askes you to leave for having a gun they cannot see, you better follow their request.

    Missouri has a peaceable journey law, so ANYONE may carry a firearm ANYWHERE in their vehicle in ANY MANNER they choose.

    As you have stated you have a Florida CWL, you are fine to continue carrying concealed outside your vehicle if you choose to do so inside.

    If pulled over, you are NOT required to inform the officer you are armed. IMHO (just my personal opinion) If pulled over by a State Trooper or an officer in a rural area, I would inform out of courtesy, you'll most likely get a wink and a nod.....I WOULD NOT informin any urban area. You'll most likely get interrogated about your business, disarmed for officer safety, or all manner of who knows what.

    A lot of folks would disagree with my opinion about State Troopers. I've always informed (both times) and never had a problem. Folks have their opinions of State Troopers from different states, but I can honestly say, ours aren't jerks. This is not to say they aren't sticklers for the law. If you get pulled over....you're getting a ticket. I've never had, nor have I heard of anyone having a "warning". You're getting a ticket. They'd ticket their own mothers. Many folks believe this makes them jerks.But I've also never been hassled, or heard of anyone being hassled.

    As for the Arch, the grounds are now O.K. for CCW, but the Arch itself is a government building. This is a NO GO. So there is the only thing you have mentioned I would warn you of: inside the Arch = NO GO.

    As for OC, Missouri is a patchwork. We don't have full state preemption on OC, just on CC. This means cities can enact ordinances against OC. Most don't. Some do. St. Louis city proper is one that does. When you get out of downtown, it becomes a checkerboard, then you're most likely O.K. in rural areas. That I know of. You could encounter one that does have an ordinance.

    For travellers, I would simply reccommend CC unless you specifically know the ordinance of the area you are in. This removes the guesswork.

    As always, I am not a lawyer. This advice is worth exactly what you payed for it.

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    Missouri has a peaceable journey law, so ANYONE may carry a firearm ANYWHERE in their vehicle in ANY MANNER they choose.
    I knew that. Or at least I did, thanks for the reminder.

    As always, I am not a lawyer. This advice is worth exactly what you payed for it.
    I guess that means no money back guarantee?

    I found a few campgrounds on the way for places to spend the night. I figure the $20 for the campground rental is a small price to pay to avoid any legal issues and for use of a shower. Some even have WiFi... the campgrounds, that is, not the showers.

    I found the Mark Twain Cave website in my search. I intend to stop by there.

    enjoy your trip through MO!
    I intend to do that too.

    Is there any thing else I should be aware of? Legally, that is. Any other good places to visit? My travels will take me from where the Mississippi meets the north and south borders of the state and only as far west as Fort Leonard Wood. If there is something interesting inside that triangle I'd like to hear about it. Any place to go shoot?

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    A good place to shoot would be Big Piney Sportsmans Club at Houston. South of The Fort. If you want GOOD TRAININGI recomend www.blackopsschoolofcombat.com in West Plains.Your CC permit is good here. MO honors all permits. A CC is not required to CC in a vehicle. I live at the south end of the county from the Fort. I you want to come by and meet for lunch. Always glad to see another OCer. P.S. If you need a good holster for a 1911 I have a friend, Caldwell gunleather (E-Bay store or 417-855-0186)
    The responsibility is ours, the results, GODS

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    I forgot to include MO statute RSMO 571.030 Open Carry and 571.107 CC
    The responsibility is ours, the results, GODS

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    Superlite27 wrote:
    I am unfamiliar with the zoo, so no info on that. It isn't a federal building, so IMHO (IANAL) no sign: you're good to go.

    You're good to go without a sign, as well, as it is not a criminal offense to ignore them here. You can only be asked to leave, and if you refuse THEN you can be charged with tresspassing. So, if someone askes you to leave for having a gun they cannot see, you better follow their request.
    The zoo is licensed as "an amusement park" and has a capacity of over 5k making a facility covered by 571.

    It is one if the 17, not criminal but not allowed.

    Read the MO law, make your own call and have a good visit.
    John C. Eastman Associate Dean of Chapman University’s School of Law "the Second Amendment, like its sister amendments, does not confer a right but rather recognizes a natural right inherent in our humanity."

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    The zoo is licensed as "an amusement park" and has a capacity of over 5k making a facility covered by 571

    Good catch LMTD. I didn't think about it being an amusement park. "St. Louis Amusement Park" doesn't sound as catchy as "St. Louis Zoo", does it?

    Even though it is covered as "off limits", it still only means they can only ask you to leave, right? OR will you automatically get "tresspassed" since you ignored the law?

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    Superlite27 wrote:
    The zoo is licensed as "an amusement park" and has a capacity of over 5k making a facility covered by 571

    Good catch LMTD. I didn't think about it being an amusement park. "St. Louis Amusement Park" doesn't sound as catchy as "St. Louis Zoo", does it?

    Even though it is covered as "off limits", it still only means they can only ask you to leave, right? OR will you automatically get "tresspassed" since you ignored the law?
    Asked to leave is proper, refusal summons police. I would suspect that it would be directly proportional to the level of anti-gun the person addressing it actually is or the officer that responds.

    The Zoo's status as an amusement park is debatable by lawyers I suppose, they do not list it publicly as an amusement park, however with the train, the merry go round and a few coin op games, they would fall under that SIC code, but again that is for the lawyers.

    Inside the zoo I am not sure if they have ever had a serious problem, perhaps an assault or petty theft, pick pocket, but you do not hear about it a lot. Unfortunately where it is located and you have to park, I would never be without personal protection.

    Because it gets pretty darn hot and the breeze can be quite limited by the trees, I would think one might want to go with a pocket gun for ease of carry in shorts and limited printing possibilities. While I do not really care to be stopped and questioned by the police myself, it is not something I would want my kids to have to witness.
    John C. Eastman Associate Dean of Chapman University’s School of Law "the Second Amendment, like its sister amendments, does not confer a right but rather recognizes a natural right inherent in our humanity."

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    patriotthad wrote:
    A good place to shoot would be Big Piney Sportsmans Club at Houston. South of The Fort. If you want GOOD TRAININGÂ*I recomend www.blackopsschoolofcombat.com in West Plains.Â*Your CC permit is good here. MO honors all permits. A CC is not required to CC in a vehicle. I live at the south end of the county from the Fort. I you want to come by and meet for lunch. Always glad to see another OCer. P.S. If you need a good holster for a 1911 I have a friend, Caldwell gunleather (E-Bay store or 417-855-0186)
    I appreciate the offer for lunch but I'll have to decline. A change of plans means that I will not have much time to spare in Missouri if I am to see the sights I planned on and still get to Charlotte on time. The family wants to get together for Mother's day so I just lost one day of travel. Oh, the sacrifices we make for our mothers.

    Caldwell Gunleather you say? I'll have to check them out.

    I took a quick look at the courses offered at the Black Ops School of Combat and I'm not sure if that's something I really want or need. Even then there are self defense classes taught closer to home. I'll file that in the memory bank for future reference though.

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    Because it gets pretty darn hot and the breeze can be quite limited by the trees, I would think one might want to go with a pocket gun for ease of carry in shorts and limited printing possibilities. While I do not really care to be stopped and questioned by the police myself, it is not something I would want my kids to have to witness.
    Obtaining a smaller, more concealable, self defense firearm is certainly on the to-do list but I convinced myself I bought enough firearms lately and need to keep things in their proper priority. I saw those neat little Ruger LCPs at the last gun show I attended and they are certainly affordable but... maybe next year. Something better might just come along anyway.

    Oh, and I'm not sure I even have a pair of shorts. I haven't worn any in years. Maybe I'll get some "tactical" shorts at the NRA meeting.

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    Another place you might want to call and check what the regulations are would be Fort Wood. I have no idea what policy is concerning ex-military. But being involved in construction by trade I know even having ammo in a vehicle entering the fort is a no-no. And can cause the civilian alot of head-ache and time.

    A call to the provost marshall should clear things up.If later on today I can get access to local phone book I will try to get the number for you and post it on this topic. Good luck and safe journey
    The price of freedom is on the wall.

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    Here's a bit of a after vacation report.

    For most of my trip I kept the M1911 loaded in the center console of my truck. I intended to purchase a holster at the NRA meeting but could not decide on what I wanted but I did get an idea of what is out there.

    When traveling in places where having a loaded firearm is forbidden I unloaded the M1911 and locked it in my luggage. That included traveling through Illinois and Fort Leonard Wood.

    At the gate of Fort Leonard Wood I must have thrown the poor guard for a loop when I stopped at the gate and I told the guard I was there to visit the museum. The young guard asked for assistance from an older guard. The older guard questioned why I had so much stuff in the truck. I don't recall what I said exactly but I said something along the lines of "camping in North Carolina". What I said was not the complete truth but I did not feel the need to explain things in boring detail either. He seemed satisfied with the answer and proceeded to give me directions to the museum while the younger guard took a look around my truck. At some point I was asked to present a driver license and it was returned and I went on my way.

    Neither guard asked if there were weapons in the truck and I did not feel compelled to offer that information. After I stopped I noticed that a combination of how I packed and the shifting of items as I drove the rifle cases were relatively concealed by my luggage and bedding. The corner of the rifle case that was visible could have easily been perceived as just another box of camping gear.

    Things were packed similarly for my visit to Fort Knox in Kentucky. Since the Patton Museum has a publicly accessible parking lot I did not have to go through any checkpoint in the vehicle. The M1911 was unloaded and cased in the truck while I visited the Fort.

    I was a bit paranoid about driving through Illinois with my firearms as I have heard a number of unpleasant encounters with Illinois law enforcement when firearms where even implied as being present. One night while at my sister and brother-in-law's house I saw my brother in law chatting with a neighbor. This neighbor happened to be a sheriff deputy so I thought I might ask him on the law on having firearms in a vehicle. Either he didn't understand the question or I did not word it properly but he responded about how it is legal as long as it is visible. That is true in North Carolina but I didn't think that would go over very well in Illinois. Before heading through Illinois I rearranged a few things so that the ammo and firearms were in separate, and locked, bags. I had no encounters with Illinois law enforcement so my theories, and fears, were left untested.

    I rearmed myself after driving through St. Louis. I would have done so as soon as I crossed the border but thought that stopping my truck in downtown St. Louis at about 9:00 PM would not have been a wise idea. I found a campsite outside the city and returned in the morning to visit the Arch.

    As mentioned before the Arch has metal detectors in use at the entrance. I passed through without incident as the M1911 was left waiting for me in the truck. I'm not sure which was more demeaning, having to remove my belt upon entering the building or being described as a "lost dad" over the PA when there was not a seat for me on the down trip on the Arch tram. (I am not a father but there were a lot of children running about which could have easily been perceived as one of mine since I looked the part.)

    There were no metal detectors at the convention center where the NRA meeting was held. There were "gun free zone" signs with police, and what appeared to be facility security, at every door.

    The trip went relatively smoothly. I was able to find a campsite to rest at every stop with the exception of Fort Knox. Apparently one must have a "valid" veteran ID card to camp at the Fort. My ID was beyond its expiration date but no one else seemed to care until then as it showed I was a veteran and veteran status does not expire. Or so I thought. The host at Camp Carlson refused to let me camp for the night so I attempted to find another campsite. Unable to do so in a reasonable amount of time I ended up getting a hotel room.

    The only other "glitch" on my travels was the crappy weather. It rained every night I camped. That was a mixed blessing since the truck might have been quite warm otherwise but it left one of my rifles rusty as the case ended up not being quite weatherproof.

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