In Missouri v Merritt, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld laws preventing felons from possessing firearms on August of 2015. The facts leading to the ruling are as follows.
Missouri voters approved State Constitutional Amendment 5, in August of 2014 and Missouri law prohibit felons from possessing firearms. The text of Amendment 5 read as:
That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms, ammunition, and accessories typical to the normal function of such arms, in defense of his home, person, family and property, or when lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned; [but this shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons.] The rights guaranteed by this section shall be unalienable. Any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny and the state of Missouri shall be obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the general assembly from enacting general laws which limit the rights of convicted violent felons or those adjudicated by a court to be a danger to self or others as result of a mental disorder or mental infirmity.
The text in bold is what being added the the text in brackets is what being taken out. The Controversial part read, “Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the general assembly from enacting general laws which limit the rights of convicted violent felons.”
Marcus Merritt was charged with illegally possession of firearms in 2013. Prior to the firearms charge, Meritt was convicted of distributing PCP in 1986. The question the Court answered is whether Amendment 5 carve out an exception for nonviolent felons and invalidate any state statue the prevents all convicted felons from possession? The Court ruled Amendment 5 does not carve out exception for nonviolent felons.
Federal and state courts Dotson v. Kander (Mo. banc June 30, 2015); McDonald v. City of Chicago, Illinois, 561 U.S. 742, 750, 791 (2010); id. at 805-06 (Thomas, J., concurring in part, concurring in the judgment, and providing the necessary fifth vote). This Court holds that this felon-in-possession law passes strict scrutiny. The Courts continue to uphold hold restrictions against felony possession since because they’re viewed as necessary to provide public safety. Since public safety is is a public interest, restrictions preventing felony possession survives it it’s narrowly tailored it the goal of restricting felons from possessing firearms.