In Missouri, the law permits both open and concealed carrying of firearms without a permit, subject to certain restrictions. Municipalities are allowed to enact ordinances restricting open carry within their own city limits, but may not ban the open carry of guns by anyone that possesses a valid concealed carry permit.

One major city is testing the limits.

The Kansas City Council has historically tried to ban the open carry of firearms through enacting ordinances in the past that outright banned open carry. However, those ordinances were negated by recent legislative measures that prohibited such municipal regulations that effectively banned open carry from being enforceable.


Undeterred, on November 3, 2016, the City Council passed Ordinance No. 160808, amending the Kansas City Code of Ordinances Section 50-261,(a)(7), which states a person cannot openly carry a firearm “ready for lethal use” unless they can show police a valid concealed carry permit. If the firearm is loaded, that is considered to be “ready for lethal use,” according to the Kansas City Police Department.

Therefore, if you have a valid concealed carry permit, you can carry a loaded firearm openly.  If you do not have a permit, you can still carry your firearm openly, but it cannot be loaded.


This confusing twist in the law came to light on September 9, 2017, when the Kansas City Police ordered several armed individuals participating in an “anti-fascism” rally in a downtown park to unload their openly carried firearms. They were permitted to continue carrying their weapons as long as the ammunition was kept separate from the firearm. Had the demonstrators been carrying loaded weapons concealed, the police would not have had a reason to disarm them.

Members of several of the protest groups voiced their disapproval of the action of the police, claiming that when a militia group held a demonstration a few weeks earlier on August 20, 2017, in Kansas City, they were permitted to carry loaded firearms openly. The protestors claimed they were being singled out and treated differently than other groups, especially the militia.

The police were quick to point out, however, that they verified that those openly carrying weapons at the militia rally all had valid concealed carry permits. Therefore the city ordinance did not apply to them.

In fact, several members of a militia group attended the September 9th rally and openly carried firearms, much to the displeasure of the Antifa groups. However, the police verified that all who were openly carrying possessed valid concealed carry permits.


Therefore, if you want to legally carry a loaded firearm openly within the corporate city limits of Kansas City, you must have a valid concealed carry permit and be able to provide it to law enforcement upon demand.

Do you think this restriction is reasonable?

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