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I’ve received a lot of requests to comment on the recent arrest of a man who walked into a Springfield, MO Walmart carrying a rifle, wearing body armor, and packing over 100 rounds of ammunition (all that according to news reports, of course). The man was held by gunpoint by another patron of the store, an off-duty firefighter, and turned over to responding Springfield police a few minutes later.
The most common question sent my way is whether the patron who held the rifle-armed man at gunpoint did so unlawfully—what was the patron’s legal justification for threatening deadly force against the rifle-armed man, given that purportedly there’s no specific Missouri law against shopping at Walmart while armed with a rifle, wearing body armor, and armed with lots of ammo?
Before we get to that, a few more relevant factual details.
That man with the rifle has been identified by Springfield police as 20-year-old Dmitriy N. Andreychenko (insert Russian interference comments here), and he was arrested on a first degree charge of making terrorist threats, presumably under Missouri statute §574.115 Making a terroristic threat, first degree.
Class - D - Felony - Missouri - Law
This is a class D felony under Missouri law, good for seven years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Naturally, conviction on this (or any other) felony charge would strip Mr. Andreychenko of his gun rights forever.
The full text of §574.115 can be viewed at the link above, but the relevant portion in this instance is almost certainly the following:
Person - Offense - Threat - Degree - Person
A person commits the offense of making a terrorist threat in the first degree if such person, with the purpose of frightening ten or more people or causing the evacuation, quarantine or closure of any portion of a building, inhabitable structure, place of assembly or facility of transportation, knowingly:
(3) Causes a false belief or fear that an incident has occurred...
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