[JURIST] The Missouri Supreme Court [official website] will hear [docket, text] legal challenges to a proposed constitutional amendment dealing with state gun rights that will appear on the ballot next month. Proposed Constitutional Amendment 5 [text] would ask voters whether to enhance the right to keep and bear arms in the constitution. These changes include gun-control measures being subject to heightened legal scrutiny and that a current constitutional provision allowing restrictions on concealed weapons be repealed. The legal challenge to the ballot would change the ballot summary, mentioning more of the significant changes that the constitutional amendment would make. However, the change may not be able to be made because there is a state law that says nothing can be added to the ballot less than six weeks before the date of an election. The election is set for August 5th, less than six weeks away. The appellants [appellant briefs] contend that the change is legal since the gun-control measure is already on the ballot and is not being added as a new measure. The court has scheduled arguments for July 14.
This case was brought on appeal from a decision by Judge Jon Beetem of the Cole County Circuit Court [official website] on Tuesday in which he rejected [AP report] challenges to this amendment and another involving transportation. In his ruling, Judge Beetem deemed both issues moot due to the law requiring additions to ballots be done more than six weeks in advance of an election. The attorney for the appellants believes that the law should only apply to ordering a candidate or an issue onto the ballot, and not to ordering, removing, or editing a summary of an item already on the ballot. After the decision by Judge Beetem, the matter was immediately appealed to the supreme court. The parties involved in challenging the transportation amendment decided to not appeal their matter, and focus their efforts on defeating the amendment at the polls in August.