Gun Amendment

Constitutional Amendment 5

Title: Missouri Right to Bear Arms Amendment

What It Is:

A constitutional amendment that establishes the right to bear arms (as well as the right to possess the ammunition and accessories for those weapons) as “unalienable.” It would also defend against any “infringement” upon this right. The amendment would also extend the right to protect one’s “family” with said arms; Article I, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution already declares the right to protect one’s home, person, and property as unquestionable.

General Assembly Vote:

Senate: 23-8 (74% Yes & 26% No)
House: 122-31 (80% Yes & 20% No)

Pro Arguments:

Regarding the legislation, Rep. Jay Barnes stated that "The right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right and has been so since the founding of this country." Advocates suggest that the amendment, if passed this August, “would force courts to use a higher standard of review when considering constitutionality of gun controls.”

A clause in the full text of measure would allow the state to limit the possession of arms by convicted felons and those diagnosed as mentally ill.

Primary Supporters:

  • National Rifle Association
  • Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-19) - Sponsor
  • Sen. Ron Richard (R-32) - Cosponsor
  • Rep. Jay Barnes (R-60)

Con Arguments:

Democrats concerned with heightening gun control opposed the measure and argued that the constitutional amendment could make it harder to regulate guns and violent criminals.

Due to the fact that the amendment makes no major constitutional changes and would do nothing to nullify federal gun control laws, some suggest that the measure may be primarily political in nature.