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Missouri will have a strengthened Right to Keep and Bear Arms provision on the August 5th ballot. Yesterday the Supreme Court upheld rulings against opponents of the amendment who tried to keep voters from deciding on the measure. The constitutional amendment was passed by overwhelming margins in the legislature with the intent that it would appear on the November Ballot. Governor Jay Nixon decided to put the on the August primary ballot instead . . .

From kspr.com:

A group of Missourians recently filed a lawsuit in Jefferson City, attempting to remove Amendment 5 from the August ballot.

“They were saying that the word ‘inalienable’ is not understandable and too vague. And the judge overruled that. And then it went to the Missouri Supreme Court,” Wampler said.

On Friday, the Missouri Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, giving Amendment 5 a straight shot to the ballot.

kspr.com gets the spelling of the term in question wrong. It is unalienable, not inalienable. This may be a small point, but the whole purpose of the article seems to be to portray the amendment as somehow confusing.

That seems to be the tactic taken by the Kansas City Star editorial board:

Even the lawmakers who voted to place the questions on the ballot disagree on what they actually say or do. About the only thing that’s certain is that the questions are almost certain to drag the state into costly future court battles.

The wording on the ballot will read:

Official Ballot Title:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to include a declaration that the right to keep and bear arms is a unalienable right and that the state government is obligated to uphold that right?
State and local governmental entities should have no direct costs or savings from this proposal. However, the proposal’s passage will likely lead to increased litigation and criminal justice related costs. The total potential costs are unknown, but could be significant.

Fair Ballot Language:

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to expand the right to keep and bear arms to include ammunition and related accessories for such arms. This amendment also removes the language that states the right to keep and bear arms does not justify the wearing of concealed weapons. This amendment does not prevent the legislature from limiting the rights of certain felons and certain individuals adjudicated as having a mental disorder.
A “no”; [sic] vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution regarding arms, ammunition, and accessories for such arms.
If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.

The current amendment reads as follows:

 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 proposed amendment is below:

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.

At least the Star editorial board is consistent. They also oppose Amendment 9, which adds the same protections to electronic communications and data that exists for “homes, papers, and effects”. It’s clear they don’t want the power of the state curtailed in any meaningful way.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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20 Responses to MO Voters Will Decide Whether to Strengthen RKBA on August 5

    • “Inalienable right?” That could mean anything! What if some right wing wacko decides it means shall not be infringed?!

  1. The KC Star has everything so bass-ackwards that they oppose measures that will only increase the statutory protections over their own privacy against government over-reach. (Not that it’ll actually help much in any case, but it’s the thought that counts, right?) Pretty much tells you everything you need to know about their general level of intellect; which is to say that there’s not much of it to speak of.

  2. The present amendment reads a lot like ours in Colorado (Article II section 13), right down to the swipe at concealed carry; I like the proposed improvement–with that we could ram something down the throats of the infringers in Denver.

  3. I am proud that MO is my new home. Gun rights was certainly one of the determining factors in my location choice.
    Go MO!

  4. This has broad support throughout the state, even in semi-progressive West St. Louis County where I live. St. Louis City proper and KC districts will vote no but the measure will pass, in spite of biased language in the ballot.

    Nixon will also have yet another veto overturned (SB656); his efforts to strip the rights of an educated constituency (and somewhat respectable legislature) are amusing at best.

  5. Yahoo…now we just have to spread the word on this so we get the vote out on August 5. Should be fairly easy to do since not many people bother to show up for election days like this.

    Go big Mo!

  6. An awful lot of work goes into getting something like this before the voters. All the legislative finagling, the litigative tussling, the organizing and lobbying even before all of that.

    Now it comes down to one vote by the people. Show ’em how it’s done, Missouri. Show them all from Connecticut to California that the votes are there and the people are on your side. All you have to do now is show up to vote and claim your rights. Don’t sit at home and let it all slip away like so many others across the country have.

  7. Please note, the amended law guarantees the right of open carry, and concealed carry. The “Any Restriction” clause fundamentally calls into question all ‘concealed carry’ laws.

    Gotta love that.

    Go Big Mo!

  8. I can see the Liberal Media is not only against people having rights to guns, but also against people having any rights to privacy and security. A total win for the Bolshevik Star and like buddies. I keep saying that the 2A battle is about a lot more than just the 2A, it is about all freedoms enjoyed by citizens of this country.

  9. MO what’s your sales tax, job situarion and cost of living? Looking to move from 14% sales tax & $7.25 jobs if you can find one.

    • Most Missouri cities have a sales tax from 5% to 9.5%, but Missouri doesn’t tax retirements (unless your total income is over $75,000, I think). It’s amazing how liberal Missouri is (regarding 2A rights), compared to many other states, especially Texas!

  10. Retired Leo,

    Sales tax is half that but varies by county. Cost 0f living is low. My house was half what it would have cost in RI. Everything is cheaper here except food. Gas is 40 cents less than RI
    Jobs? Don’t know but the state seems pretty healthy

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