Missouri supreme court upholds ban on felons possessing firearms
Missouri supreme court upholds ban on felons possessing firearms

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Missouri [official website] on Tuesday ruled [opinion, PDF] that a statute prohibiting convicted felons from possessing firearms does not violate the Missouri Constitution‘s [BallotPedia backgrounder] right to bear arms. The appellant, Santonio McCoy, was convicted under Section 571.070.1(1) [text] making it illegal for offenders convicted of prior felonies to possess firearms and appealed arguing it violated the Missouri Constitution’s right to bear arms as provided by Article 1, Section 23 [text]. Applying strict scrutiny, the court ruled that :

Section 571.070.1(1) is narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling governmental interest. The State has a compelling interest in ensuring public safety and reducing firearm-related crime. Prohibiting felons from possessing firearms is narrowly tailored to that interest because ‘[i]t is well-established that felons are more likely to commit violent crimes than are other law abiding citizens.’ Furthermore, ‘someone with a felony conviction on his record is more likely than a nonfelon to engage in illegal and violent gun use.’

Gun control [JURIST backgrounder] continues to be a prominent topic in US politics since a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012. Earlier this month US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter ordered a review [JURIST report] of military recruitment office security policies in the wake of a shooting at a Chattanooga, Tennessee Navy-Marine reserve center. Last December the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled [JURIST report] that a law prohibiting individuals who have been committed to a mental institution for any amount of time from possessing a firearm is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. This court was the first to strike down a federal gun law under the Second Amendment since the US Supreme Court [official website] effectively struck down Washington, DC’s ban on firearm ownership six years ago. However, mass shootings in Colorado, Connecticut and elsewhere have spurred some state legislatures to create and adopt gun control laws. In August 2014 a federal judge for the US District Court for the District of Maryland upheld [JURIST report] portions of Maryland’s gun control law, which banned certain types of “assault weapons” and a limited gun magazines to 10 rounds. In June of that year a judge for the US District Court for the District of Colorado upheld [JURIST report] two Colorado statutes that expanded mandatory background checks and banned high capacity magazines.