Missouri Judge Rules “Safety” Overrides Right to Keep and Bear Arms

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Missouri Judge Rules “Safety” Overrides Right to Keep and Bear Arms

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- A Democrat Missouri District Court judge, appointed after the lawsuit was filed, has ruled the lawsuit against the University of Missouri for violating the new Missouri Constitutional provision protecting the right to keep and bear arms, does not apply to the University. The judge claims he followed the requirements for “strict scrutiny” when he did so.

On August 5, 2014, the citizens of Missouri passed a Constitutional amendment to strengthen the protection of the right to keep and bear arms in Missouri. From ballotpedia.org:

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. 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 duly adjudged mentally infirm by a court of competent jurisdiction.[1]

On 19 September 2015, Professor of law Royce Barondes filed a lawsuit, based on the new amendment, challenging the complete ban of firearms on the University of Missouri campus, except for those granted special privileges by the University administration.

On April 22, 2016, Democrat Governor Nixon appointed Democrat politician Jeff Harris to the position of judge in the 13th Circuit. Harris was Governor Nixon’s policy director at the time of his appointment.

Some jockeying for the venue occurred. The defendants attempted to move the case to Federal court. The Missouri Attorney General sided with Barondes. Then the case was moved to Boone County from Cole county in Missouri, in 2016.

Three successive Missouri Attorney Generals have weighed in on the case in support of Professor Barondes position.  On 18 November 2019, Judge Harris issued an opinion that the University rule banning all guns on campus, except for those granted the privilege by the University administration, was Constitutional under the Constitution of the state of Missouri. Judge Harris relied on the testimony of two University police chiefs for most of his ruling. From the opinion:

Based largely on the testimony from law enforcement, the Court finds that the Rule satisfies strict scrutiny and is constitutional. The University presented unambiguous and essentially unrebutted testimony in support of the Rule from two police chiefs with nearly 70 years of law enforcement experience, backed by statistical evidence.

In the opinion, there did not seem to be any reference to any statistical evidence presented by the University police chiefs. It appears they simply presented their opinions. The University police chiefs are not neutral parties. The University rules grant them a privilege on campus no one else is allowed. They and a few other University employees have the sole privilege of being armed. In addition, their jobs depend on pleasing their superiors, who have made their opposition to allowing arms on campus clear and unequivocal. The police chief’s testimony is full of speculation, conjecture, and hypotheticals.

The police chief’s testimony does not qualify as data, or as a scientific study, or as unbiased. It is simply their opinion, which may have been colored by personal gain and fear of retribution from their employer.

The University cited statistical claims made by anti-Second Amendment partisan Dr. John Donohue.

There are several bizarre claims made in the opinion by Judge Harris.

Judge Harris claims the rule is “narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling interest”. It is hard to see how a complete ban on firearms, with the minor exception of those approved of by the University administration, is “narrowly tailored”.

If the rule is “narrowly tailored” to promote “public safety” then a state law, banning all ownership and carry of firearms in the State of Missouri, would also be “narrowly tailored” thus rendering the protection of the right in the Missouri Constitution meaningless.

It is very difficult to believe the judge examined less restrictive measures, as he is required to do under strict scrutiny.

The Judge writes that banning firearms possession from all but those in approved programs or persons in the line of duty, is less restrictive than banning felons from possession, even though banning possession of firearms by felons is explicitly allowed by the Missouri amendment.

The Judge writes that minimizing theft on its property, including theft of firearms, is a “compelling interest”. By this standard, the University would be authorized to prohibit all private property on its campus. That would minimize the theft of private property.

The Judge writes, citing a federal case, that the right to arms is less protected outside the home than inside.

The case will likely be appealed.

In Wisconsin, we have seen the will of the people subverted by an activist anti-constitutional court.

In Missouri, we may find out if the Supreme Court judges are as biased against the right to keep and bear arms as were the judges in Wisconsin. Four judges on the Missouri Supreme Court were appointed by Democrat governors. Three judges on the Court were appointed by Republican governors, as of September, 2019.

About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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Another demonstration of the contortions required to thwart the will of the people or defy a constitution.


Sounds like propaganda to me, where the ‘good of the people’ or the ‘safety of the people’ is more important than individual rights.

Wild Bill

, his dicta is curiously nonjudicial, isn’t it.


Fundamental rights are NOT subject to “interest-balancing”, and these yahoos need to quit saying that they are.

“We know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding ‘interest-balancing’ approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government … the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon. … The Second Amendment is no different. Like the First, it is the very product of an interest-balancing by the people[.]” – D.C. v. Heller (2008)

Some guy

Democrat judges are traitorous hacks just like the FBI.


Why are people so surprised when communists act like communists?


Nice job, Dean. Your articles are always informative and on point. Current governor Parson has caved to Kansas City, Springfield, St. Louis, and Columbia mayors’ demands for gun control. This measure by a partisan judge can’t help. Will these measures prove to be the camel’s nose under the tent flap? We can only hope for the appeal. Also, thanks for your gunwatch blog. I hope others appreciate that effort as much as I do.

Ej harbet

Wow fruit of nixon! Who saw that coming???
We’ll show him the door soon. I really think breaking the oath to the Constitution should be a capital crime with rapid imposition of sentence.
Rope or bullet! If you want to live,don’t swear a oath to protect the sacred and break it! Real simple concept! Tried by 12 guilty you die!
Stop alot of this crap!


I have often stated this when it comes to treason… Well, let us examine the second amendment! 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 Well regulated , meaning to run smooth, be disciplined , well supplied. Militia meaning the body of people consisting of lawful citizens in a free state of existence. Security , meaning to keep safe . Necessary meaning needed , essential Free state, meaning the collective of states, the whole nation. The right , meaning those essential… Read more »


What makes you think it will be appealed?? Years of the professor’s life have already been consumed by this. He will certainly have piled up a mountain of legal debt. I imagine his career is in a shambles. He’s already been buried under the bureaucracy and is now unknown to virtually anyone, even in Missouri. The NRA is nowhere to be seen, and you have now witnessed the DEATH of liberty.

Wild Bill

@Dean W, Wishing you, your family and the Ammoland extended family, a HTGD!

Wild Bill

@Prep, This case just begs for overrule by a higher court. This case will get appealed because: “Three successive Missouri Attorney Generals have weighed in on the case in support of Professor Barondes position.” The judge is clearly giving mere lip services to judicial analytical principles. And because having put his keen mind to the task, Harris come up with the wrong conclusion.
Everything after your first question is unsubstantiated speculation, that need not be addressed here. Not down clicking you because it is Thanks Giving Day.


Unfortunately, Missouri is about to find out that their Supreme Court votes strictly on party lines in these matters. Impartial judges are not to be found any more, at least in blue states. Witness the Supremely Kangaroo Court in WA state, which blatantly ignored state law by upholding the validity of bogus initiative I-1639. That issue was so obvious that a child could have interpreted the law correctly. Not these judges though.


Yup. Bloomie had his minions file a bill in Oregon that is almost word for word the same bill. That state have laws relating to Citizens’ Initiatives that are almost identical to Washington State’s….and Oregon’s courts refused to allow it to go to a vote because it violated their Constitution in precisely the same ways the 1639 bill violates Washington;’s.WHY are Wasington’s Supreme COurt “justices” so corrupt as to let this initiatve stand on the ballot, when Oregon’s response to an all but identical initiave bill was the exact opposite?


Any dead brain fool could and should argue, as incident after incident has proven, that having a gun when things go south makes everyone SAFER. It’s just that the left leaning, okay socialist news papers of our time, rarely report on this because it doesn’t fit their agenda.


Another typical brain dead lemming that has been allowed to occupy a position of “authority” as a judge. And then there is the other brain dead lemming that has been allowed to occupy a position of “authority” as a policy chief. One brain dead lemming positioning for another brain dead lemming. Oh what a tangled web of deceit these people weave for everyone involved.


This is just one more illustration why students and personnel should not rely on campus police when physically threatened or assaulted. In most cases they are useless and have limited arresting authority. Anyone who tells you that the local police have no jurisdiction on campus, is lying. Call 911.


Given that the Supremes have already ruled that personal protection / security is not a police duty, when it reaches the Supreme Court the lawyers should argue that you cannot have it both ways, saying police are only responsible for “public safety” but OBTW, that doesn’t include your right to personal protection in the interest of “public safety, esp if you’re not on the naughty list. (Prohibited from carry).

Wild Bill

@JDC, Yeah, how can a state rationalize diminishing civil Rights by citing “public safety”, then get off the hook when they don’t protect people? Could it be that these Rights diminishing statutes are really for protecting the rich from the rest of us. And police departments … could PDs be little more than the mayor’s private army?


um besides the original intent of the Second (the judge is one) it is about safety, for when the police are 20 minutes away and evil is breaking down the door to murder and rape, only a gun in the hands of the law abiding will save the day!


When you abandon freedom to receive security, you lose both & deserve neither.


Once all state remedies are exhausted, it will head to federal court, which is quite a different kettle of fish.


But in the meantime, the state’s taxpayers are on the hook for all the costs of the stalinists!