How easy is it to buy a gun in Missouri and Kansas? These are the laws in each state

Bob Brown / The Associated Press
·3 min read

Missouri and Kansas are two of the nation’s most firearm-friendly states. Both states have comparatively weak laws regulating guns. The states rank 47th and 45th in the nation respectively according to the Giffords Law Center, which advocates for gun safety reform.

The restrictions enforced on gun buyers are minimal in the Kansas City area, and state laws protect the use of firearms in certain situations. Missouri even prevents state and local law enforcement officials from enforcing certain federal gun laws. Here’s a look at the regulations that apply to these weapons on both sides of the state line.

How old do you have to be to buy a gun?

Missouri: It is illegal to sell a gun to a minor without parental consent.

Kansas: State law allows minors to purchase guns as long as the barrel is longer than 12 inches. There are also exceptions that allow shorter barrels, such as if a minor is at home or on a shooting range.

How long of a waiting period is required when buying a gun?

Missouri: None

Kansas: None

What background checks are required before buying a gun?

Missouri: No state-specific background checks, only the one required by federal law.Missouri’s gun sellers must initiate background checks directly with the FBI. Missouri has no law requiring firearms to be registered.

Kansas: No state-specific background checks, only the one required by federal law. Kansas’ gun sellers must initiate background checks directly with the FBI Kansas has no law requiring firearms to be registered.

What type of certification must gun owners undergo?

Missouri: None. Neither gun owners nor purchasers are required to obtain a license.

Kansas: None. Neither gun owners nor purchasers are required to obtain a license.

Who is allowed to carry a concealed firearm on their person?

Missouri: Anyone can carry a concealed firearm in Missouri without a permit. The locations where concealed firearms are not permitted include places of worship, polling places on Election Day, school buses and events, large stadiums, liquor stores and government buildings.

Kansas: Anyone over age 21 is allowed to carry a concealed firearm without a license or permit. Those aged 18-21 can do so with a concealed carry permit.

In what places are guns allowed?

Missouri: Almost everywhere. While concealed firearms are not allowed in the places listed above, visible firearms are allowed unless they are being brandished in a “threatening manner.”

Kansas: Almost everywhere. Guns are not allowed inside K-12 school buildings or at school events, but are allowed at colleges. Local governments are not allowed to apply these restrictions to other public places. Guns are only prohibited in buildings with posted signage and “adequate security,” including metal detectors and armed security guards.

When are gun owners legally allowed to shoot someone?

Missouri: Missourians are allowed to shoot someone in “self defense” without retreating from the situation first, as some states require.

Kansas: Kansans are allowed to shoot someone in “self defense” without retreating from the situation first. State law also limits law enforcement’s ability to arrest someone who claims to have acted in “self defense,” making this claim harder to verify.

What circumstances can lead to guns being confiscated?

Missouri: Courts are allowed to confiscate firearms used to commit a felony, as well as any other firearms found on the perpetrator during their arrest. However, courts are not required to do so. No other laws exist to take guns away from those no longer authorized to possess them.

Kansas: Domestic violence perpetrators and people who have a protection order issued against them are required to relinquish their guns. However, there is no mechanism to enforce this rule.

How easy is it to buy a so-called “ghost gun”?

Missouri: The state does not restrict or otherwise regulate “untraceable” firearms or “ghost guns,” which are often assembled out of parts bought online.

Kansas: The state does not restrict or otherwise regulate ghost guns.

Do you have more questions about firearm laws in Kansas or Missouri? Ask the Service Journalism team at kcq@kcstar.com.