The state Supreme Court is again being asked to consider the appeal of a felon who argues a change voters made to the state Constitution allows him to have a gun.
The Court will hear Wednesday the arguments of Santonio McCoy, who was charged with being a felon unlawfully in possession of a firearm after an incident in St. Louis in June, 2012 and eventually sentenced to seven years in prison.
McCoy argues that under the changes to the state Constitution approved by voters in August in Amendment 5, the state’s law against felons possessing firearms is vague and cannot be enforced. He also argues that he is not a violent felon, so the law should not apply to him.
The state argues the amendment passed by voters in August doesn’t apply retroactively to McCoy’s case. It further argues the law is enforcable because the state has a valid need to protect the public and reduce the incidence of violent crimes by prohibiting felons from having guns.
It also argues some of McCoy’s prior crimes could qualify as “violent felonies.”
The state Supreme Court in December heard the arguments of a convicted drug dealer that under Amendment 5 he should be allowed to have guns. It has not issued a ruling in that case.