The Missouri legislature has followed Oklahoma’s lead in placing an amendment to strengthen the right to keep and bear arms on the November ballot. Both houses overwhelmingly voted let Missourians decide whether or not to strengthen the state’s right to keep and bear arms. The problem is the wording of the current amendment . . .
Section 23. That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or when lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned; but this shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons.
The non-support of concealed carry conflicts with current Missouri laws that are some of the most carry-friendly in the country and have helped earn the Show Me State the proud distinction of an ‘F’ rating from the Brady bunch on their annual scorecard of individual state firearms laws.
The proposed new amendment reads:
Section 23. That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms, ammunition, and accessories typical to the normal function of such arms, in defense of his home, person, family and property, or when lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned[; but this shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons]. The rights guaranteed by this section shall be unalienable. Any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny and the state of Missouri shall be obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the general assembly from enacting general laws which limit the rights of convicted violent felons or those duly adjudged mentally infirm by a court of competent jurisdiction.
The Missouri language is a bit clearer than that of the proposed Oklahoma amendment, though both are following the lead of Kansas and Louisiana. I’s clear that the legislators are listening to grassroots support of these efforts. The Louisiana measure passed with 74% of the vote; the Kansas amendment passed with 88%. I predict that the Missouri amendment will pass with 85% of the vote.
These amendments are so popular that voters seem to see these measures as — to use the old media phrase of choice — “common sense legislation” and a “good first step in the right direction”. Who knows? They may even be “for the children” and could “save even one life”.
We will find out in November.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.