Missouri Amendment: Gun Ownership an 'Unalienable Right' State Must 'Uphold'
In August Missourians will vote on Amendment 5, an amendment to the state constitution which explicitly declares private gun ownership an "unalienable right" and obligates the state government to "uphold" it.
The language of Amendment 5 says "that the right to keep and bear arms is an unalienable right and that the state government is obligated to uphold that right."
According to The Joplin Globe, the amendment was sponsored by state senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia). It passed the state senate "by a 23-to-8 vote, and the state [house] by a 122-to-31 vote."
In addition to adding a new protection for the "right to bear arms," Amendment 5 safeguards ammunition and "accessories typical to the normal function of such arms."
Saint Louis attorney Chuck Hatfield "is helping lead opposition to Schaefer's amendment." Hatfield does not like that Amendment 5 calls for any future gun laws to be weighed on the basis of "strict scrutiny"--the "most rigorous... [type] of judicial review."
Hatfield worries that a "strict scrutiny analysis" could embolden "defense attorneys and public defenders" to challenge current gun control laws in Missouri.
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