Missouri’s Constitutional Amendment 5 passed yesterday with 62% of the vote and 3712 of 3898 precincts reported. It’s a clear statement of support for the right to keep and bear arms, clarifying that it’s a fundamental right; that it protects ammunition and accessories as well as firearms, and that the state is obligated to protect that right. The amendment could lead to the Show Me State becoming a constitutional carry (no permit or license required to keep or bear arms) state like Vermont and Arizona . . .
First, here’s the ballot question and the actual amendment:
Official Ballot Measure Wording:
- 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.
Here is the actual constitutional amendment:
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.
There will be some interesting after-action analysis regarding turnout and where the votes came from. As the amendment clearly includes the right to carry concealed weapons, there may be challenges to the state’s law forbidding the concealed carry of weapons without a concealed carry permit. Kansas passed a similar, but less complicated measure in 2010 as did Louisiana in 2012. Oklahoma has a similar measure on the ballot for this November.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.