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 . . .
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.