In Missouri, State Supreme Court Reviews a Very Good Gun Law

Law Shield would like to inform our members about an upcoming judicial review that could undo the results of a very positive recent gun-law change in Missouri.

The Missouri Supreme Court will hear arguments from St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson and Rebecca Morgan, a member of the Missouri chapter of a Bloomberg-funded anti-gun group, who want the August 2014 results from a measure called Amendment 5 to be repealed.

The Missouri Right to Bear Arms, Amendment 5, was on the August 5, 2014, primary election ballot in Missouri as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved with 60 percent of the statewide vote. It vastly strengthened gun rights, making them “unalienable” in the state constitution.

Chief Dotson and others have argued in court that the voters didn’t know what they were doing. The brief from his lawyer reads, in part, “… To entice the ‘yes’ vote, the summary offered the red-caped promise of a new right to bear arms but, like a skilled matador in the bull fighting ring, concealed the sword of strict scrutiny that will strike at the heart of Missouri’s existing gun laws, as well as other substantial changes should the voters take the bait. Missouri law is clear that the cape may not be used to bait the voters and the sword must be openly displayed….”

The terms “unalienable” and “strict scrutiny” in the constitutional changes were both important, providing the highest level of legal protection for gun rights in court cases. We think the voters of Missouri knew exactly what they were doing, and we hope the state’s highest court rules against Dotson and Morgan.

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