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Gun rights amendment upheld by Missouri Supreme Court

Gun rights amendment upheld by Missouri Supreme Court

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Open Carry Firearm Walk

Rhonda Wren (left) raises her concerns with open carry supporters Ron Skywater (second from right) and John Rickhoff (far right) as they engage in a discussion about race and the role it could play when exercising open carry rights at Citygarden on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. Open carry supporters held a rally and walk downtown to raise awareness for Missouri firearm laws. Photo by Cristina Fletes-Boutte, cfletes-boutte@post-dispatch.com

JEFFERSON CITY • The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld a constitutional amendment approved by voters in August that bolsters gun rights.

In February, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson presented his case against the amendment, alleging the ballot summary presented to voters was misleading and failed to explain the amendment, making it an irregular election.

The summary presented to voters said “that the right to keep and bear arms is an unalienable right and that the state government is obligated to uphold that right.”

The court disagreed and held the election results valid.

Amendment 5, which 60 percent of August voters supported, declares the right to keep and bear arms “unalienable” and subjects laws restricting gun rights to “strict scrutiny.”

Residents have the right to keep ammunition and accessories, as well as the right to defend their families with firearms — a right previously limited to defending home, property and person.

The amendment also repeals wording that states that the right to bear arms does not justify carrying concealed weapons. Lawmakers can still pass laws limiting the rights of convicted violent felons and people with mental illnesses.

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Alex Stuckey is a statehouse reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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