Last month, state legislators overrode Governor Jay Nixon's veto on a bill that instantly erased all regional bans on open carrying firearms. Then, add the passing of Amendment 5, which enshrined all Missouri gun laws as "unalienable," and it would appear that gun rights in the Show Me state have never been stronger.
But nobody in Missouri -- including law enforcement and St. Louis city officials -- seems to understand the true scope of these new gun laws, says Jeffry Smith, a firearms activist and instructor from Ohio. Smith is leading an "Open Carry/Firearms Educational Walk" this weekend in downtown St. Louis, saying he wants Missourians to know their constitution provides a fundamental right to open carry firearms, even without a concealed carry permit. He and potentially dozens of local and out-of-state activists want to prove their point by taking a "friendly" jaunt with their guns through Citygarden and the Gateway Arch on October 25.
Update: See below for interviews with St. Louis police chief Sam Dotson and a federal ranger at the Gateway Arch.More »