You have the right to own a firearm in the United States– if you follow the rules. That can sometimes be tricky, especially when you’re living near the border of two states that have very different approaches to gun ownership.

Even though Missouri and Illinois are neighbors, their handling of gun laws is very different. If an officer arrests you while you’re on the wrong side of the line, you could face serious consequences that may not have amounted to anything in St. Louis.

Wrong side of the river

Even if you’re unaware you’re breaking regulations, a weapons charge can come with minimum mandatory sentencing. While Missouri generally shows more leniency for possessing a firearm, Illinois remains a bit more buttoned-up when it comes to carrying a gun:

Understanding the rules of the state you’re in is extremely important, even in difficult cases that involve state lines. Make sure you know the laws of the area you’re in, and it could save you a lot of trouble while exercising your second amendment right.