Professor Royce Barondes was a speaker at a Missouri Supreme Court Review hosted by the Kansas City Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society. In his presentation, he addressed the civil right to bear arms and the Missouri Supreme Court’s April 2018 opinion in Alpert v. State of Missouri.
The case involves the constitutionality of a 2008 Missouri statutory change that caused decades-old felony convictions for controlled substances possession to prohibit Mr. Alpert’s firearms possession.
Although Mr. Alpert had his Federal firearms rights reinstated in the 1980s, and for decades thereafter had possessed a Federal license to deal in firearms, the Missouri Supreme Court held the prohibition constitutional.
Professor Barondes noted that the court applies an analysis that relies on the notion that the government may deny civil rights or protections to those not “virtuous.” He highlighted that this approach, often disfavored in current jurisprudence outside consideration of firearms rights, has historically been odiously referenced, for example, to justify diminished governmental protection against sexual predation directed at women deemed not “virtuous.”