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Felons in Missouri can legally carry guns, thanks to GOP's poorly-written Amendment 5

It turns out that poorly-written political legislation can have very serious real world consquences: 

A St. Louis judge on Friday dismissed a gun charge against a 55-year-old St. Louis man, marking the first Missouri case to be tossed out because of a controversial Constitutional amendment approved last year, officials said...
     
“This is exactly the type of litigation that I and others have warned about,” St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said in an interview Friday. Joyce said that the felon in possession charge was “used routinely to get dangerous felons disarmed,” and that prosecutors were taking the challenges “very seriously.”

     

Joyce's office filed roughly 300 felon in possession cases last year.

Amendment 5 was sponsored and championed by Sen. Kurt Schaefer, Rex Sinquefield's candidate for Attorney General. Schaefer said last year that Amendment 5 "wasn’t meant to help out felons." Maybe it should have been written more carefully, then? 

Here's what Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said about the ruling: 

About a year ago, my office and others warned Sen. Kurt Schafer and the Missouri General Assembly that a then-proposed Constitutional Amendment could raise new, deadly concerns for law-abiding citizens.
    

Now, I’m disheartened to see that those warnings may be coming true. A Circuit Judge in St. Louis ruled today that the state cannot prohibit a felon from possessing firearms. The judge cited the new constitutional language as the basis for his decision.
     
Everyone should agree that more guns in the hands of more criminals will only equal more violence.
    
If prosecutors lose the ability to prosecute felons in possession of firearms, more gang members, drug dealers and domestic abusers – the persons responsible for most of the shootings in our communities -- will be allowed to carry guns.
    
The Missouri General Assembly broke this. Now they need to fix it. It’s time to choose protecting public safety over politics.

Everytown for Gun Safety has more, calling Friday's ruling "a prime example of the dangers of Missouri’s Amendment 5"

“Today’s decision by Missouri Circuit Court Judge Robert H. Dierker is an example of just how dangerous ‘strict scrutiny’ amendments like Amendment 5 are – in one strike of his gavel, Judge Dierker has declared that convicted felons are no longer all prohibited from possessing guns in Missouri. It is likely the state will appeal Judge Dierker’s decision and a higher court may well reinstate the felon in possession law – but even if Robinson’s conviction is affirmed, this case is a prime example of how Amendment 5 calls into question basic public safety laws.  This decision comes just days after the Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments on the validity of Amendment 5 and highlights why they should strike down this dangerous rewrite of the state constitution. 
     
“Prosecutors across Missouri will now decline to bring charges against felons or others who violate gun crimes, for fear that a court will throw out the law like Judger Dierker did today.  And the taxpayers of Missouri will pay the costs to defend challenges like the one Robinson brought – and won – today, not to mention the immeasurable cost of weakening public safety for Missouri families and communities.”

As Peters Baker said, It's time for Schaeffer and the General Assembly to fix what they've broken. And it's way past time to get focused on real proposals to prevent gun violence in Missouri communities.