The state Supreme Court will be asked tomorrow to throw out the gun rights amendment to the state Constitution that voters approved in August.
Opponents of that amendment argue the language voters saw was misleading and didn’t explain everything the amendment would do. They’re challenging it under a law that deals with fraud and irregularities in Missouri elections, such as if a vote count in a given area is higher than the number of registered voters in that area.
Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) was one of the authors of that amendment and will defend it before the Court on Wednesday. He says to be successful, the challengers should have to find one person that was misled by that language.
“They had the opportunity and they put no evidence in the record whatsoever, so on appeal there’s no evidence in the record that anyone was mislead,” Schaefer told Missourinet.
Schaefer and the Secretary of State’s office defend the ballot language as having been adequate, and Schaefer adds even if it had not been, that law doesn’t allow a challenge based on ballot language. They also argue the challenge was filed after amendment became effective: too late to be considered, under the state constitution.
Attempts to reach the parties bringing that challenge for an interview were unsuccessful. They include St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson.
That amendment, which appeared as Amendment 5 on the August ballot, passed with 60 percent of the vote.
It made clear that the right to bear arms is “unalienable,” and requires Missouri to defend that right. It also subjects laws restricting gun rights to the legal standard known as “strict scrutiny,” meaning such laws must be as specific as possible and must be proven to support a compelling government interest.
The Court will also hear arguments on Wednesday from challengers who want the “Right to Farm” amendment adopted by voters on that same ballot removed from the constitution.