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Matthew A. Radefeld and Daniel A. Juengel

Will you lose your gun rights for domestic violence in MO?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2021 | Violent Crimes |

A felony conviction of domestic violence will always lead to the loss of gun rights.

Missourians enjoy some of the most lenient gun laws in the nation. But in the US, all felony convictions — whether violent or not — lead to a lifetime ban on gun ownership. You may not lose your gun rights immediately when merely charged with a violent crime. But if you are convicted or plead guilty to any felony, or even some violent misdemeanors, you may lose those rights.

What qualifies as domestic violence in Missouri?

In Missouri, it’s a crime to knowingly cause or attempt to cause physical injury to a member of your household. You don’t need to be related by blood or marriage for a violent situation to be considered domestic. While we usually imagine domestic violence to occur between spouses, people like girlfriends/boyfriends, grandparents, cousins, and even roommates are protected by these laws.

Domestic assault is divided into three degrees in MO

The most serious type of domestic assault is known as first degree. These charges include killing or causing serious physical injury to a member of your household.

Domestic assault in the second degree occurs when a person attempts to injure a family member or roommate using a deadly weapon or strangling them.

Domestic assault in the third degree includes:

  • Negligently injuring a family member with a deadly weapon (leaving a loaded gun on the coffee table for a child to discover)
  • Threatening a family member with immediate physical injury
  • Recklessly putting a family member into a situation with a high risk of death or severe injury
  • Unreasonably isolating a family member from others, locking them up in a room or basement or limiting their communications

Penalties for domestic assault can be severe, and they depend on the degree. First degree domestic assault is a Class A felony if the defendant inflicts serious physical injury. The second degree is a Class C felony and third degree domestic assault is usually a Class A misdemeanor. However, if you’ve been convicted of domestic violence two times or more in any other state, the judge will upgrade the penalty to a Class D felony. Repeat offenses matter. If a person has been charged with domestic assault in the past or has a violent history, the judge will take this into consideration

In sum, Missouri courts take a serious stance against domestic violence. If a person is convicted, they will almost certainly lose their gun rights for life.