Buying Ammo and Guns in Missouri

DISCLAIMER: It is your full responsibility to make sure the firearm, ammunition, or accessories you are purchasing is legal for you to own in your state or jurisdiction. The information contained throughout this web site, including the firearm and ammunition state guide provided below, is not legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice.

This piece discusses the ammunition and firearms laws in Missouri. To do so, the piece starts out with the ammunition laws, aiming at explaining the process for having ammunition shipped to a residential address in MO. From there, the piece dives into the firearms laws, first examining the process for buying firearms in the state, and then looking at the laws surrounding the carriage of firearms. To wrap things up, the piece leaves you with some resources we think will be useful to anyone who wants to buy, own, and carry firearms and ammunition in Missouri.

This piece is not to be considered legal advice. Instead, we hope that you can use the information here to make your own, well-informed decisions about firearms and ammo in Missouri.

Missouri is one of the many states that have preemption: that means that the state legislature has mandated that localities such as counties and cities cannot make their own firearms and ammo laws that are stricter than those at the state level. This makes life simpler for gun owners in the state, as it means that once you understand the laws at the state level, that understanding can be applied everywhere within the state.

Missouri’s gun laws are some of the most permissive in the nation. The lack of any bans on specific categories of firearms sets the bar high, and permitless carry makes the state permissive. There are even some statutes that affirmatively protect law-abiding concealed carriers from facing frivolous prosecution: all of this together makes Missouri a good place to be a gun owner.

Ammo Laws/Buying Ammo in Missouri 

First, we will cover the ammo laws of MO.

The only ammunition ban in the state of Missouri is a ban on explosive ammunition. Other than that, the ammunition laws in Missouri follow Federal guidelines.

To be able to purchase ammunition, the ATF mandates that buyers meet two sets of requirements. First is an age requirement - buyers of ammunition for long guns such as rifles and shotguns have to be eighteen years of age or older, and people buying handgun ammunition have to be twenty-one or older.

Secondly, buyers of ammunition cannot be prohibited persons. The ATF defines prohibited persons as people who have been convicted of felonies or domestic violence, people who have been adjudicated as mentally unfit in a court of law, and people who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health institution for treatment.

Assuming that the buyer meets both of those requirements, the state of Missouri allows for ammo to be shipped directly to a buyer’s residential address. It should be noted that carriers can impose their own rules. Commonly, carriers might ask for an adult with a valid identification to be present to sign for a package that contains ammunition.

Because the only ammo ban in the state is on explosive ammunition, Missouri’s ammo laws are very permissive. Explosive ammo is extremely uncommon, expensive, and mostly regulated by the ATF: realistically, banning it does not make the state much less permissive in terms of its overall firearms and ammunition laws.

Gun Laws/Buying Guns in Missouri 

Next, we will do the same analysis for Missouri’s gun laws.

Missouri’s gun laws are similarly permissive when compared to their ammunition laws. There are no bans on specific types of firearms in the state, for example, an assault weapons ban that would typically ban firearms by name or by a set of features. The state does not regulate the sale and possession of magazines, nor does the state prohibit people from owning NFA items.

The firearms buying process in Missouri follows the laws set at the federal level. To purchase a firearm, the buyer should take a valid form of identification and payment to the gun store. There, the FFL will have the buyer fill out Form 4473 to conduct a background check and document the purchase. Once both the background check and payment are accepted, the buyer is free to leave with the firearm on the same day.

Missouri does not require private sellers to conduct background checks, but it is always wise to make sure that the buyer is both old enough, and not a prohibited person.

Carrying firearms in Missouri is very permissive as well. The state does not require a permit for concealed carriage of a firearm, nor for open carry. In addition to having permitless carry, Missouri has a handy statute for those who choose to concealed carry: it is legal to briefly and accidentally show the public a concealed firearm, and those who do so without threatening intent cannot be charged with brandishing a firearm.

This is an exceptionally permissive move by the state of Missouri, as it keeps people out of legal trouble who, for instance, simply accidentally showed someone their firearm by reaching for something on a high shelf in a grocery store. While few prosecutors would bother with charging someone in such a circumstance, Missouri has made sure of it.

Like many states with permitless carry, Missouri still offers concealed carry permits on a shall-issue basis. While the permit doesn’t grant any extra privileges within Missouri, it does allow holders of the permit to carry a firearm concealed in many other states: these reciprocity agreements are why permitless carry states typically continue to offer their concealed carry permits.

Missouri, as is common, has a list of places where it is forbidden to carry a firearm at all. This list includes:

  • Police facilities

  • Polling places

  • Correctional facilities

  • Government buildings

  • Airport terminals

  • Federal property 

  • Public transportation

  • Churches

  • Hospitals

  • Amusement parks

  • Casinos

  • K-12 schools 

  • Private property with signs

While such a list is not uncommon, one particular entry in Missouri’s list is concerning from the point of view of gun rights. Banning legal firearms on public transit might effectively keep some of the poorer residents of the state from being able to fully exercise their rights to self-defense. This prohibition makes the state slightly less permissive, though it will only affect a relatively small proportion of the population.

Of note, Missouri is home to CMMG, one of the more innovative firearms manufacturers of recent years. Their  ARs tend to experiment with materials, finishes, and operating mechanisms for those who want to experience high-end AR-platform weapons.

Aside from the prohibition on carrying guns on public transportation, Missouri is one of the more gun-friendly states. There are no sweeping firearms bans, and the state does not impose restrictions on gun buyers and owners over those that come from the federal government. While there are slight dings on that permissiveness in terms of ammunition and the carriage of firearms, these restrictions are not enough to consider Missouri anything other than permissive in terms of its firearms and ammunition laws.

Sales Tax on Guns/Ammo in Missouri

The base sales tax rate in Missouri is 4.225%, and it can be as high as 10.350% in some localities. This is one of the states where it might be worthwhile to shop around for an FFL in a place that has one of the lower tax rates. The state does not impose any special, additional taxes on firearms or ammunition.

More Resources:

  • The ATF maintains a list of every FFL in the country, including in Missouri. This list can be used to find local gun stores: these stores are usually a Type One or Type Two FFL.

  • is an excellent tool for finding local shooting ranges. Using the city, zip code, and mileage tools, you can find convenient ranges in Missouri. Users can add ranges as well, and the information is regularly fact-checked.

  • There are a number of well-rated gun stores in Missouri 

  • The Missouri Gun Talk Forum is an active one, where users often discuss local politics, deals at local gun stores, and relevant events to the firearms community.