On Tuesday, Missouri voters were asked the following question, “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to include a declaration that the right to keep and bear arms is an unalienable right and that the state government is obligated to uphold that right?”
Well, over 1 million voters answered that question with 61 percent answering in the affirmative, thus passing the pro-gun measure known as Amendment 5 that further protects one’s Second Amendment rights by subjecting any gun-control proposal to “strict scrutiny,” the toughest standard of judicial review used by courts around the country.
State Rep. Charles Davis (R-District 128) explained the importance of Amendment 5.
“It makes it an inalienable right, so it is a right that cannot be taken a way from you without changing the constitution back,” Davis told KOAM.
“We do have the right to keep and bear arms, for hunting purposes and also for home and self defense, but it’s just a further protection,” Davis elaborated.
The new language does not just cover firearms however, but also includes ammunition and firearm-related accessories.
“A gun without ammunition is worthless, just like a car without gas serves no purpose,” Davis said. “So if we can stand up and protect the rights of Missouri citizens to have the ammunition in conjunction with the guns, then we feel that is a good constitutionally protected measure.”
Meanwhile, Everytown for Gun Safety was quick to criticize the change to the Show Me State’s constitution.
“As a leader in the national movement to reduce gun violence and save lives – with a Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action – Everytown for Gun Safety took on the fight against the misleading language in Amendment 5 in Missouri state court,” said the Bloomberg-backed organization in a statement emailed to GunsAmerica.“Politicians backed by the gun lobby wrote Amendment 5 to sound harmless, but what it has the potential to do is dangerous for Missouri families and communities. If the gun lobby succeeds in using Amendment 5 to dismantle the state’s concealed carry permit system, they will put Missourians in danger by making it legal for anyone — including convicted criminals — to carry concealed, loaded guns in public without a permit or safety training. In spite of this outcome, we firmly believe this measure is far out of step with what Missouri voters want.”
As the Columbia Daily Tribune reported, Amendment 5 passed in every jurisdiction except the city and county of St. Louis and Boone County, falling short in the latter by a margin of six percentage points, 53 percent voted “no” while 47 percent voted “yes.” To suggest that the measure is “far out of step” with what voters want seems almost laughable.
As for how the new language effects the state’s concealed carry licensing system, that has yet to be determined.
Meanwhile, the nation’s gun lobby praised the passing of Amendment 5 in a press release.
“The people of Missouri have sent a clear, strong message that they will not allow anti-gun activists to trample on their Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.
“This amendment is the gold standard for the protection of the individual right to Keep and Bear Arms. In the face of unprecedented threats from billionaire Michael Bloomberg and his network of anti-gun groups across the country, Americans are fighting back to protect their rights. I applaud the people of Missouri and call on all Americans to support similar efforts in their states. On behalf of the NRA’s five million members, I thank the ballot’s sponsors, Senator Kurt Schaefer, Majority Leader Ron Richard, Speaker-elect John Diehl and members of the Missouri General Assembly who supported this measure. Across the country, gun rights supporters are taking note of their leadership on this critical issue,” added Cox.