Ghost of Jesse James Seen in Missouri Gun Law Debate

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Under pressure to do something about lawlessness — and especially Jesse James — Missouri in 1875 inserted language in its constitution to regulate concealed weapons.

The 68 delegates to the constitutional convention assembled in May in Jefferson City for what would be four months of forging a new governing document for the frontier state, reports the Kansas City Star. The document was the foundation for the state’s laws on carrying concealed weapons.

Until last week, the prevailing interpretation was that the constitution allowed lawmakers to regulate carrying concealed weapons. But a group that includes Kansas City Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Brooks has sued to keep the state’s new concealed-weapons law from taking effect Oct. 11. A hearing is set for Thursday.

At issue is the constitution adopted in 1945, which included a slight revision of the 1875 entry on concealed weapons. The document reads:

“That the right of every person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person 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.”


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