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How does a DWI affect your ability to own a firearm?

Every state has drastically different gun laws. In Missouri, individuals who have a felony conviction on their record are unable to own a firearm. For a first DWI offense, you can expect to receive a misdemeanor charge. Most of the time, it takes three DWIs for police to charge the individual with a felony. However, even a first offense could be a felony if you caused physical injury or endangered the life of a child. 

The inability to own a gun is just the start. People with a felony DWI conviction may also need to pay thousands of dollars' worth of fines and possibly face jail time. For gun enthusiasts who do not want to lose their right to bear arms, it is best to find a safe ride home following a night of drinking.

History of the legislation

In 2014, Missouri voters decided to enact new legislation that would prevent convicted felons from owning firearms. In 2016, the law went into effect. A primary component of this state law and similar ones to it in other states involves the fact convicted felons have issues with judgment and should not have ownership of a firearm. Even though a DWI is a non-violent offense, unless the driver in question ends up in a traffic collision, the perpetrator of the DWI may lose the ability to own a gun. 

What if you have a gun on your person at the time of the DWI arrest?

Missouri has extremely lenient gun laws, so although you may be able to buy a gun with a felony, if a cop catches the gun in your possession, you could face harsh penalties. This also begs the question of what police do when they pull you over for DWI and find a firearm on your person. If an individual has an unloaded firearm while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then she or he will face additional misdemeanor charges. In the event the firearm has ammunition inside, then the person will face felony charges. 

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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