Brief Overview of Right to Bear Arms in MO

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That the right of every citizen 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.---  Mo. Const. Art. I, § 23

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.---  U.S. Constitution, 2nd Amendment

  • Blackstone's "Commentaries" on the right of defense:

" is indeed, a public allowance under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression... "

  • Division between harm to property, which the law can 'make whole' and
  • Threats to life and limb, which the law cannot repair;
  • Ability, Oportunity, Jeopardy - 3 factors defining lawful defense;
  • Vigilantism is extrajudicial violence: doesn't matter whether commited by State or individual;


  • State authority to regulate time, place, and manner (e.g. Heidbrink v. Swope)
  • Tension between Right and regulation;
  • Regulation may not effectively prohibit RTKBA or self-defense (e.g. Peruta vs. San Diego);