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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.
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  1. @ Aaron. Camera lens not just angle.

    @ Dirk. I bet I know what your vote will be in Nov.

  2. I have a better version.

    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.

  3. I continue to state this: It is sad that states feel it is necessary to strengthen their freedom to bear arms, which should be and is clearly stated in the U.S. Constitution as the Second Amendment:

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Why is “shall not be infringed” so hard for judges and legislatures to understand?

    I do understand the trend of states to pass these laws in action or reaction to the oftentimes attack they experience from federal, regional, and state sources.

        • No wonder. I don’t think I have ever heard stronger wording than “shall not be infringed”. Not sure how it could be possible. Someone I was talking to once suggested we should amend the Constitution to make 2A stronger, and I asked him “how?”. One suggestion would be to pass the SAME amendment again.

    • +1

      If they are going to pass something like this though, why not duplicate the 2A? It’s pretty clear cut and says a lot of what Missouri is trying to say in fewer words. Less words, less weasel room, IMHO.

      • There is no need, and should never have been the clause regarding the militia. I get the point behind it but it has served to cause no end of problems.

        • I agree that problems have arisen due to the clause. However, I believe that the issues arose due to lack of due diligence on the part of the People. The People should have refused the very first infringement and every one after. We fell asleep at the helm. The amendment, when properly understood, is very powerful. We’ve just let people forget. I believe that can be corrected without changing a letter of the amendment. However, I also believe that it will take a majority of gun owners to all be close to the same page, delivering the same message over and over again.

          BTW: The 2A is not about ordinary crime, target shooting, or hunting. So, how would the 2A mean the same as it currently does without the militia clause?

      • Because if they duplicate the federal 2A language, and the federal courts come down (incorrectly) in support of gun control as “reasonable regulation,” then the Missouri courts would be heavily inclined to adopt the federal court interpretation. This way, the Missouri courts don’t have any wiggle-room. For clarification, the bracketed language in the proposed Amendment is language that is being deleted from the old Amendment.

        It’s good that the Amendment requires the “Strict Scrutiny” test, as opposed to the lesser tests applied to the government’s justification for a law. “For the children” isn’t likely to pass that one. It’ll be interesting to see what, in application, the obligation of the State will be to protect the citizenry’s rights against infringement, in the event a federal package is enacted along the lines of the most recent epic fail – you could make a good argument that no Missouri law enforcement officials could provide support for a federal grab, or provide data on ownership (e.g. turning over a list of CCW holders) or any other thing along those lines. For one, I’ll breathe a lot easier after this Amendment is adopted.

    • Don’t forget, though, that the Bill Of Rights was originally understood to apply ONLY to the federal government, and the 2A has only been imperfectly “incorporated” (ruled to apply to the states) so far. Not the the fed gov has been any great shakes as far as following the 2A anyhow.

      I’ll take LOTS of redundancy safeguarding rights, under those circumstances.

      • I don’t believe that! “Congress shall make no law” clearly was intended to apply to the Fed government only (now applies to all), “shall not be infringed” clearly was intended as a restriction on ALL government, could be interpreted to also restrict CORPORATE or PRIVATE actions.

  4. City of St Louis will probably vote negative ( One party Rule Democrat Partei )
    St Louis County will most likely narrowly vote negative ( Predominantly Democrat Partei)
    Kansas City and Jackson County will most likely mirror St Louis and St Louis County
    Columbia is where the University of Missouri is located and I suspect it will go negative also

    The rest of the state will offset the urban gun banners

    A good case study would be the last Presidential election numbers

    • I live in St.Louis County, and you’re right. I’m no liberal Democrat, and I will vote for my gun rights 100%.

  5. This will pass with ease. Support even in somewhat progressive wealthy West St. Louis is extremely high.

  6. Jefferson County will vote strongly in favor.
    St. Charles County also will vote strongly in favor.
    St. Louis County … will pass, but much more narrowly.

    The city? Nope. Ditto for KC situation.

  7. Let’s just say I write members of the legislature. Often. 🙂

    As for my “vote”, I always take kids with me when I vote (we stop on the way to school). I can predict with ease which button my 9 year old daughter will push in November!!

  8. Might want to correct the spelling in the title “Constituitonal”, Constitutional.

  9. I just can’t understand ccw license, why even the need for one. 2 Amendent is so very clear and it doesn’t even say you are required to be license! It’s all BS. We sure need to get our country back and soon!

    • +1

      IMHO, by design or momentum, government is propagating a privilege to supplant a right. Some in the gun owning community are lapping it up, too. As I warned my friends in Ohio, this will prove to be another fight rising out of the division one day. This is a very bad trend for Liberty.

      • I agree with you John, but the alternatives to participating in the licensing system are steep; disarmed and vulnerable on the one hand or feloniously (by current law) carrying on the other. I did the latter for years (though it resulted in discontent, paranoia, and a growing sense of disenfranchisement) and cannot stomach the former at all.

        I believe constitutional carry should and eventually will prevail, in the meantime I’ll keep my permit up to date and be sure to have my ‘papers’ on me so that I’m in compliance with current law. The current situation is better than the former, and perhaps with effort we can improve it still.

        • I don’t really disagree with you and I keep my license up to date as well. But, I never had problems carrying concealed before the licensing law and neither did anyone I knew. Generations in my family carried concealed here before. AFAIK, the initial case that started the ball rolling was a private investigator who relocated to Ohio and found that he couldn’t do his undercover work armed in Ohio since he was a licensed PI here. Granted however, I did hear of law enforcement pushing concealed carry charges as a primary charge more and more leading up to licensing. IMHO, Ohioans forgot how many of us carried daily because our sidearms were concealed. I don’t doubt that it would have been a major issue in Ohio if it wasn’t resolved. The only thing is how it was resolved; upon which we agree. They only needed to strike a small piece of the Ohio Revised Code to fix the issue. Instead, we get this abomination. Again, I realize that we agree. Carry on,

        • I also agree with all the above. While I carried for 25 years before I got a license, what I hope for is that with the licensing laws, people will realize there are guns all around them (as there always have been) and causing no problems, whereupon there will be less opposition to further relaxing restrictions.

          I’ve got a brother who has lived his whole life in FL, who did not know FL had “shall issue” until I told him, then he said they must have kept it really quiet. When I pointed out that I followed the progress of the law while I was living in Okinawa, how did he suppose somebody managed to keep it quiet in FL, where it was happening?

  10. When the system that continually disenfranchises members of its own population is finally addressed, perhaps felons will once again be able to feel like they can become respected members of society. I’m not holding my breath.

  11. I’d rather pass a Constitutional amendment that bans the Democrat party. That would take care of most of our problems in one fell swoop.

    • Riiiiight. They’d just move on over to the Republican party–which they do anyway in strongly “red” states. An obscure phenomenon known as the RINO.

    • The problem with the leftie progressives is what they are, not what they call themselves.

    • I’m not so sure, it’s good to know thy enemy and having them all self identify Democrat is useful. Perhaps we should just force honesty of platform so that everyone know what they’re voting for:

      Democrat: defacto American socialist party, committed to the redistribution of wealth by channeling through inefficient government processes, opposed to free market economics and pro central planning, dedicated to destructive environmental policies, supportive of the eventual dominance of trade unions so as to supplant the lawful government and being collectivist in nature, opposed to individual rights that might tend to conflict with the good of the collective while supporting the rights of those who might tend to vote for the party so long as those rights do not interfere with the collective, pro capitulation of hegemony and sovereignty in favor of globalist collective rule and dedicated to the cycle of poverty and tyranny pervasive in all socialist states so as to perpetrate and perpetuate elitist oligarchic rule.

  12. The present wording strongly resembles the Colorado constitution’s Article 2 section 13. No one has conceived of it actually preventing concealed carry though which seems to be some peoples’ beef with it in Missouri. The clause about concealed carry does allow the state to *forbid* it, but the clause just by itself doesn’t do anything. It should. nevertheless, go because states should not be allowed to forbid (or, um, what’s that word, it’s on the tip of my tongue….INFRINGE, yes, that’s it, “infringe”) any form of carry.

    A lot of the great amounts of wording in the proposed amendment are efforts to prevent the legislature from passing, say, a mag ban and then claiming that really isn’t an infringement. Yes, we are dealing with sneaky two year olds here who have to have EVERYTHING they are not allowed to do spelled out for them. Unfortunately.

  13. The very reason I live in Arizona; we have a castle doctrine law for home as well as personal vehicles, are exempt from civil lawsuits when the shooting is a legal action ” the shooter is not charged with a crime” and concealed carry as well as open carry is allowed without a ccw permit for citizens allowed to carry legally. Our state constitution is stronger than the federal constitution as it should be these days.

  14. *** This was supposed to be a reply to Wayne above. I messed up. ***

    Arizona is number one on my list of places to relocate in the next four years. I’m still researching. One of my requirements is a warm climate due to health issues (lungs). Any suggestions as to one of the most free areas to live in AZ? (The border doesn’t worry me and I’m already cognizant of avoiding reservations.)

    • If you’ve got respiratory or immune issues, be very careful moving to AZ. Google ‘valley fever’, it’s caused by a fungus they have in the dirt down there.

      • Thanks for the tip. My issues actually begin with something sinus related about the air/humidity/allergens/something in the Ohio area. No matter which direction I travel from SW Ohio, my breathing improves. As I travel back towards home, the issues return and worsen the closer I get to Ohio. I noticed the same thing with my grown children on our last trip to Utah. My now deceased brother was on O2 here in SW Ohio but could breath just fine after we hit about central Kentucky during a 2003 road trip to Florida.I suspect genetics lay the foundation for me not breathing well here. I will, however, make sure that I check out the information before cementing any AZ plans.

  15. The courts have said that there can be no restriction on a constitutional right and the only way that the right can be taken away is through due process. There fore all these state “laws are null and void”.

  16. Try again gentlemen.

    This section is most troublesome, “… to keep and bear arms, ammunition, and accessories typical to the normal function …”

    The words “typical” and “normal” are a legal quagmire. Who defines those words? Do their definitions change over time? What about protection for newly developed accessories — that could be the greatest thing since sliced bread — but certainly are not “typical” nor “normal” since they are new products?

    Moreover, what are “accessories”? Are sights, rails, and muzzle brakes accessories? What about flash hiders and suppressors?

    This could lead to endless lawsuits.

  17. What bothers me most is the mindset behind the wording of this amendment. It implicitly supports the notion that we are all beholden to the State … that we are presumed guilty unless proven innocent or that we must first seek permission of the State before doing something. That is definitely NOT the picture of a free people.

    Let me illustrate by contrast. The State has no authority to “regulate” in any manner whatsoever under any premise or level of scrutiny whatsoever how, why, when, or in what manner a husband and wife enjoy physical intimacy with each other. Period. Why? Because the State’s job is NOT meddling in the private affairs of a married couple. It is none of the State’s business what a married couple do together and a married couple does not need prior permission from the State to do what they do. Similarly, the State’s job is NOT meddling in the private property affairs of a person. What kind of contraptions a person has is none of the State’s business and a person does NOT need prior approval or permission from the State to make or purchase contraptions. Period.

  18. I have lived in Tucson, Az. for over 30 years, never met anyone that knows anyone with valley fever. Valley fever originated in the California areas. Most open areas where the dust is valley fever does exist, but let’s not get crazy about it. The dry climate there is very good for your respiratory system. The dessert there is roughly 10′ high. I am leaving this great place and moving to LV because of kin, certainly not because of Ried. My hopes are that he stays in Washington and is tossed out of the senate.

  19. It’s already in my life, and it has nothing to do with the Consitution. It is my right, period.

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