Missouri gun rights on the ballot in August

by Matt Buhrman, KSPR.com  |  published on July 19, 2014

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – In 18 days citizens will have the opportunity to vote on several issues on the August ballot, including Amendment 5.

Amendment 5 establishes the right to keep and bear arms as a quote “inalienable” right in Missouri — or a natural right, unable to be taken away. The amendment, if passed, will repeal what’s written in the Missouri Constitution for gun rights, and replace it with more defined language. This new language will make it more difficult for gun laws to be challenged in the state.

Dee Wampler is a criminal defense attorney in Springfield, and a former prosecutor. He spoke with KSPR about Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution, a section that has been in place since 1875.

“This ensures your right of self defense with your life, liberty, property, your home and your family. The majority of citizens probably support this, and once they get in the ballot booth you never know what they’re going to do,” Wampler said.

The Amendment adds protection to “ammunition and accessories” and even the word “family” is mentioned when talking about defense.

“If anyone wants to file a lawsuit or challenge it in some way, they would have the burden of proof in an inalienable right. It’s a right that really can’t be taken away lightly,” Wampler said.

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