Gun Rights Amendment Passes In Missouri

Amendment Five which would make the right to keep and bear arms “unalienable” in the state of Missouri was adopted by a two to one margin yesterday. It was one of a handful of constitutional amendments on the ballot in Missouri during yesterday’s primary election. Other amendments considered dealt with a transportation tax, a guaranteed right to farming, electronic privacy, and a veterans lottery ticket to fund veterans’ services.

Amendment Five which will become Section 23, Article I of the Missouri Constitution does a number of things. First, it extended the right to keep and bear arms to include ammunition and accessories. Second, and in my opinion the most important part of this amendment, it subjects any restriction on the right to keep and bear arms to strict scrutiny. Third, it obligates the government of the state of Missouri to uphold these rights and not to decline to protect them from infringement. Finally, it makes clear that this amendment does not prevent the legislature from restricting the rights of convicted violent felons and those adjudicated mentally ill.

Amendment Five also removed that portion of the previous Section 23 that said the right to keep and bear arms “shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons.”

If one listened to the opponents of Amendment Five, it was going to lead to blood in the streets and a bankrupt government. Particularly amusing were the cost figures submitted by former state budget official Mark Reading whose work was funded by Everytown for Gun Safety.

Reading projected the proposal could cost state and local governments $244 million, including $115 million for additional security at state-owned buildings and $54 million for school police officers to protect people from an assumed increase in gun violence. He also projected a $71 million loss in state and local tax revenues if tourists boycott Missouri because of its pro-gun constitution.

These numbers were rightly deemed “ridiculous” by Deputy State Auditor Harry Otto. I just don’t imagine a lot of residents of the Bay Area or New York City are traveling to St. Louis to see the Arch and partake in riverboat gambling.

The final vote in favor of Amendment Five was 602,076 (61%) with 385,422 (31%) opposed.


6 thoughts on “Gun Rights Amendment Passes In Missouri”

  1. "Second, and in my opinion the most important part of this amendment, it subjects any restriction on the right to keep and bear arms to strict scrutiny."

    Not really, when our higher level judges are appointed through the Missouri Plan, no matter how conservative the Governor, he's handed an unpalatable set of possibilities.

    In our domain, a recent example is how our appeals courts have nullified our crystal clear statutory "strong" Castle Doctrine (that you can assume an intruder in your dwelling is armed and life threateningly dangerous, and not have to get shot determining it before using lethal force, vs. what I call the "weak" Castle Doctrine, no duty to retreat from your dwelling), through required jury instructions. See any edition of Vilos' Self Defense Laws of All 50 States (highly recommended).

    1. I don't disagree with you regarding a judiciary that is appointed subject to a retention election. Under the Missouri Plan, the judiciary is more responsible to the legal subculture than to the people. It is one of those "good government" changes that haven't stood the test of time.

  2. The ninny's predicted blood int eh streets and loss of tourism dollars after passage of our SYG law last year. 2013 set a record and of course violence continues to decrease. *not* "because of* SYG but because increasing gun rights has little to no significant effect on crime rates either way.

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