Amendment 5 | St. Louis Public Radio

Amendment 5

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Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death raises many issues. Among them are the possibility of 4-4 decisions until the vacancy is filled and the likelihood of President Obama’s appointment of a successor to get Senate confirmation.

On Monday’s monthly Legal Roundtable a panel of legal experts joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh to discuss this and other issues.

The guests were:

A gun show in Houston, Texas, in 2007.
M Glasgow | Flickr

The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld a state law that bans all felons -- even those convicted of nonviolent crimes -- from possessing a weapon.

"Missouri's constitution does not prohibit the legislature from restricting nonviolent felons' right to possess firearms," judge Laura Denvir Stith wrote for the five-judge majority in one of three opinions on the issue released Tuesday. "Section 571.070.1 survived strict scrutiny review under the prior version of article I, section 23, and this Court already has held that Amendment 5 did not substantially change article I, section 23. The statutory bar is valid."

Black semi-automatic pistol
(via Flickr/kcds)

The Missouri Supreme Court is considering whether a gun rights constitutional amendment passed last year cancels out an older state law that bars convicted felons from owning firearms.

The high court heard three cases Tuesday in which lower courts dismissed felony gun possession charges based on the new amendment, which makes gun ownership an "unalienable right" that the state is obligated to defend.

Leah Gunning Francis, second from left, locks arms with Rev. Karen Anderson, Betty Thompson, Rev. Traci Blackmon and Valerie Richmon of Austin, Tx at the front of the Mother's March on October 18, 2014.,
Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis is joining a legal fight to retain a criminal charge officials say is necessary to control the gun violence plaguing the city.

The city, the Archdiocese of St. Louis, SSM Healthcare, the Demetrious Johnson Charitable Foundation, and the St. Louis Regional Chamber are joining together in a amicus curiae brief (friend of the court) to the state Supreme Court. In three cases, St. Louis judges threw out unlawful possession of firearms charges based on their reading of Amendment 5.

(via Flickr/M Glasgow)

The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld a constitutional amendment that broadened gun rights in the state.

Voters approved Amendment 5 in August 2014 with 61 percent of the vote. It made the right to own firearms, ammunition and other accessories in the state "unalienable," and said any form of gun control should be subject to "strict scrutiny." The amendment also allowed the open carrying of guns.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce has called Amendment 5 "a disaster." She's been heaping criticism on the "gun rights" measure for months.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

When Amendment 5 was put before voters last August, 602,863 Missourians cast their ballots in favor of a measure aimed at bolstering the Show Me State’s gun rights.

It’s safe to say St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce was not among those voters.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

Two controversial constitutional amendments faced challenges before the Missouri Supreme Court Wednesday. Approved by voters last August, Amendment 5 strengthened gun owners' rights while Amendment 1 limited the ability to regulate farming and ranching.

The Supreme Court of Missouri
Flickr | david_shane

The Missouri Supreme Court will hear arguments next week on whether voters knew enough about a constitutional amendment expanding gun rights before it was approved in 2014.