Missouri Judge shopping

Discussion in 'The Constitutional & RKBA Forum' started by armedandsafe, Oct 13, 2003.

  1. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Concealed Weapons Law Blocked in Missouri
    Associated Press

    ST. LOUIS (AP) - A judge temporarily blocked a law that would make Missouri the 45th state to authorize concealed guns.
    Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer ruled Friday that the law needed a further review by the state Supreme Court and would have caused irreparable harm had it taken effect Saturday.

    The judge cited comments from debate at Missouri's constitutional convention of 1875 that carrying concealed weapons is ``a practice which cannot be too severely condemned'' and is connected to ``incalculable evil.''

    An appeal of the order filed by Attorney General Jay Nixon with the state's Eastern District Court of Appeals was denied a short time later. Nixon filed a second appeal with the state Supreme Court, but Bill Thompson, a counsel for the high court, said it would not issue a ruling Friday.

    It was unclear when the state Supreme Court would take up the appeal. Ohmer scheduled an Oct. 23 hearing to determine whether to impose a permanent injunction.

    Missouri entered the ranks of states allowing concealed guns when the Legislature overrode Gov. Bob Holden's veto last month. The new law also bars identification of concealed weapons permit-holders.

    Advocates say the laws have contributed to drops in violent crime by deterring criminals unsure whether a potential victim might be armed. Holden and other critics say more guns in circulation will lead to more violence.

    ``The conceal and carry law ... was obviously flawed in many respects,'' Holden said in a statement Friday. ``I believe the court took appropriate action today by preventing this ill-conceived law from taking effect.''

    Supporters of the law predicted that they eventually will prevail.

    ``The plaintiffs went judge shopping and they found what they wanted,'' said attorney Kevin Jamison, president of the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance. ``Their petition is unbelievably frivolous. It shows a complete misunderstanding of the law.''

    The plaintiffs in the case include public officials, members of the St. Louis Clergy Coalition and the nonprofit Institute for Peace and Justice.

    The group cited a section of the Bill of Rights from the 1945 Missouri Constitution that declared the right to bear arms ``shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons'' - and a similar clause in the 1875 version of the Missouri Constitution.

    The Missouri attorney general's office argued the constitutional clauses express a reservation, not a prohibition on concealed weapons.

    Because the temporary restraining order came so close to the law's effective date, Cole County Sheriff John Hemeyer had said his office would accept applications as planned Saturday. He changed his mind later Friday, saying he didn't want to tie up application fees.

    Other sheriffs had not planned on accepting applications until next Tuesday.

    Ohmer agreed to hear the case in St. Louis after the city's sheriff was added as a defendant. Most lawsuits against the state are tried in Cole County, where the state capital is located.

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  2. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

    Aug 22, 2002
    Very interesting....

    I think we're going to see a lot of debate on that clause, "shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons''.

    I can certainly see how they would not have wanted their Constitution to be construed as automatically justifying concealed weapons. But it does not say "shall specifically exclude the wearing of concealed weapons". These are two totally different things.

    So here we go again with semantics and interpretation. Gimme a break already...

  3. CHAS

    CHAS New Member

    Oct 7, 2002
    "I think we're going to see a lot of debate on that clause, 'shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons'".


    On the surface it seems that the phrase simply means that the right to keep and bear arms does not automatically include the right to carry a concealed weapon in public (though certainly folks are free to carry them any way they like on their own "private" property).

    You're right, Sniper. That statement doesn't seem to forbid concealed carry, it just means that it must be legislated separately under their Constitution.

    Some states extend(ed) the right to carry firearms in public as long as they were exposed to plain view. I don't know what Missouri's history on this is.

    Stay tuned.

    Last edited: Oct 13, 2003
  4. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    One must also keep in mind that the 1875 constitution was written when folks were still concerned about them "pesky darkys" being armed. When it was rewritten in 1945, any parts which were not specifically rewritten were just carried over.

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