Don’t Trick Voters into Weakening Gun Safety


Target: Tom Dempsey, President Pro Tem of the Missouri State Senate

Goal: Add details of proposed gun legislation to voters’ ballots

A proposed amendment to the Missouri state constitution deceives voters by appearing to simply reinstate the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. In reality passage of this amendment would make substantial changes and greatly expand gun rights in the state.

The constitutional amendment, as currently stated, appears to simply ask voters to reconfirm their right to keep and bear arms.  The actual amendment however expands gun rights in Missouri to apply to ammunition and gun accessories, deletes language restricting concealed weapons, subjects any future gun regulations to “strict scrutiny” and prohibits gun ownership only for convicted violent felons as ordered by a judge, according to Think Progress.

These changes to the constitution were proposed by the Missouri state legislature at the strong urging of the National Rifle Association (NRA). This has essentially permitted the NRA, financed largely by gun manufacturers, to influence state gun laws without making those changes transparent to voters.

Language adequately describing the proposed changes to the constitution must be included on voters’ ballots. Failure to do so intentionally misleads the public in order to further the special interests of the NRA and other pro-gun groups. Demand that the Missouri State Senate give voters crucial information on the content of the gun law amendment so they can make informed decisions at the polls.


Dear Senator Dempsey,

A proposed amendment to the Missouri state constitution deceives voters by not including detailed language on how the measure would change state gun laws. As it is, the amendment simply asks voters to confirm their constitutional right to keep and bear arms and the responsibility of the state to uphold this right. The amendment fails to include any language on the substantial changes to gun laws which would go into effect should the measure pass. The lack of ballot language describing these changes appears intentionally misleading–an attempt to “trick” voters into passing a law which may not be in their best interest.

These proposed changes greatly expand gun rights in Missouri and include important details that voters should be aware of in order to make informed decisions. Such changes include expanding the right to wear concealed weapons, subjecting any future gun regulations to “strict scrutiny” and only preventing gun ownership for convicted violent felons. I urge you to include these details in the language of the voting ballot.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Lucio Eastman via Wikipedia

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