Sater, Fitzpatrick voice support for Amendment 5

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Voters to decide on gun rights amendment Aug. 5

Local legislators have come out in favor of Amendment 5, which aims to protect Missourians' second amendment rights.

The amendment, if passed, will amend the Missouri Constitution to include a declaration that the right to keep and bear arms is an unalienable right and the state government is obligated to uphold that right.

The amendment would also establish and clarify that ammunition and accessories associated with the normal functioning of arms can be kept for the purpose of defense of oneself, home, family and property.

State Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, said he has always supported the right to bear and keep arms. One of his campaign themes from 2012 said, "Americans must always maintain the constitutional right to bear arms. Scott will not let the firearm ownership rights of law abiding citizens be compromised at any point during his

time in office."

Fitzpatrick says he supports the amendment because it establishes the unalienable right.

"I've always and will always passionately support the 2nd Amendment," he said. "I think the Amendment 5 is important for Missouri because it restricts legislature from broadly restricting the unalienable right to bear and keep arms.

"I voted for the amendment to be put on the ballot, and I'll vote in favor of it again when I personally walk into the voting booth."

State Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville, also supports the amendment.

"I always want to protect the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms," he said. "I support this amendment because it is protecting that unalienable right."

If passed, the amendment will likely lead to increased litigation and criminal justice related costs. These potential costs are not yet known, but they could be significant, according to the official ballot title listed on the Missouri Secretary of State's website.

Fitzpatrick says the auditor assumed during his analysis that there may be an increase in lawsuits against the state challenging the constitutionality in regards to the United States Constitution. Fitzpatrick said the litigation costs will most likely increase, but the increase will most likely be minimal.

"In the scheme of the budget, I believe the costs will be minimal," he said. "For me, spending a small amount of money to help ensure and protect the rights of Missouri citizens to keep and bear arms as well as the ammunition and accessories that go along with them seems worth it."

Registered voters in Missouri may vote on Amendment 5 during the primary election on Aug. 5.

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