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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Guns: Kurt Schaefer Wants Constitutional Change to Make Right to Bear Arms Stronger

Posted By on Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Senator Kurt Schaefer. - VIA
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  • Senator Kurt Schaefer.

Republican lawmakers in Missouri are pushing forward with yet another bill designed to fight against any gun control -- only this one requires direct buy-in from voters.

That's because Republican State Senator Kurt Schaefer wants to change the Missouri constitution.

"The rights [to bear arms] guaranteed by this section shall be inalienable," the proposed amendment says.

Will voters be interested in rewriting this part of the state constitution to provide stronger gun protections? The Missouri GOP is one step closer to giving them the opportunity.

Senate Joint Resolution 14 -- introduced in January and approved unanimously by the Senate General Laws Committee this week -- is an amendment proposal, which means that if the legislature passes it, the measure would end up on the ballot in a future election.

The amendment:

...modifies provisions regarding the right to keep and bear arms. This amendment provides that a citizen has the right to keep and bear 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. Finally, the amendment provides that the rights guaranteed under this provision of the Constitution are unalienable. The State of Missouri is obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement.

The noteworthy changes there are the addition of the word "unalienable" and the added specification of "family" -- in addition to the removal of the current language that says the right to bear arms is not a justification for wearing concealed weapons.

click to enlarge gun_image_3.jpg

This current section of the state constitution in question says that citizens have the right to bear arms but notes that the article doesn't cover carry concealed weapons; the existing language does say, however, that the General Assembly is not prohibited from enacting statues that allow concealed carry. In other words, the Concealed-Carry Act is in fact constitutional.

Still, Schaefer wants that exception removed.

Continue for the full proposed constitutional amendment.

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