VOTER EDUCATION: Missouri Legislature Refers “Right to Keep and Bear Arms” to 2014 Ballot for Approval

Subject: 2014 Ballot Measures in Missouri
Gate Way Group Contact: Dave Berry
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?”

Issue Summary (Source: Missouri Senate)

This proposed constitutional amendment, if approved by voters, modifies provisions regarding the right to keep and bear arms. This amendment provides that a citizen has the right to keep and bear arms, ammunition, and accessories typical to the normal function of such arms, in defense of their family, in addition to the current rights in defense of home, person and property. The amendment removes language stating that the right to keep and bear arms did not justify the wearing of concealed weapons.

The amendment provides that the rights guaranteed under this provision of the Constitution are unalienable. Any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny. The State of Missouri is obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement. Nothing in this amendment shall be construed to prevent the passage of laws by the General Assembly that limit such rights for convicted violent felons or persons adjudged to be a danger to self or others as the result of a mental disorder or mental infirmity.

This question was referred to the ballot by the state legislature during the 2014 legislative session. (Link to Senate Joint Resolution 36)

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