Missouri lawmakers approve ballot vote on gun rights amendment

Missouri lawmakers have signed off on a proposal that would amend the state constitution to include gun rights protections.

The measure was approved by the Senate on Wednesday after passing the House on Tuesday, according to an official account. The Senate vote was 23 to 8; the House vote was 122 to 31, according to the Associated Press.

The bill throws the question to voters either during the November election or a special election called for by the governor. The amendment is short, although it is much longer than the Second Amendment to the federal constitution. If approved, it would protect each resident’s right to own firearms, ammunition and accessories — rights it defines as “unalienable.” The legislature’s powers to restrict such rights of the mentally ill and convicted violent felons would remain.

The proposed Missouri amendment reads:

That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms, ammunition, and accessories typical to the normal function of such arms, in defense of his home, person, family and property, or when lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned[; but this shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons]. The rights guaranteed by this section shall be unalienable. Any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny and the state of Missouri shall be obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the general assembly from enacting general laws which limit the rights of convicted violent felons or those duly adjudged mentally infirm by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Niraj Chokshi reports for GovBeat, The Post's state and local policy blog.
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