As you saw in Rear-Ended, Then Defended Part 1, no one was hurt, and our member Jeremy was neither arrested nor charged. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In Part 2, we will dive deeper into the law, where Independent Program Attorneys will explain the road rage self-defense laws from your state.
Watch the video below to see your Independent Program Attorney – John Schleiffarth – explain the road rage self-defense laws for Missouri.
Sherry: Welcome back to Part II of Rear-Ended, Then Defended. As you remember from the last video, Jeremy’s truck was surrounded by three hostile men after a minor accident.
Fearing for his son’s safety, as well as his own, Jeremy retrieved his firearm from his glove compartment to stop the attack. In this instance, Jeremy’s quick actions deescalated the situation and prevented further threat to him and his child. However, his decision to leave his vehicle while brandishing a firearm his decision to leave his vehicle while brandishing a firearm is not a lawful action in every state.
That’s why I asked your Independent Program Attorney to clarify the law where you live.
John: Hi I’m John Schleiffarth, Independent Program Attorney, for U.S. LawShield of Missouri. In the State of Missouri, you have the right to stand your ground. If your life is under imminent threat you can use deadly force. If you’re in a situation where you have to leave your vehicle with your firearm in hand, in order to protect yourself, you can do that within the boundaries of the law.
Again, there’s no duty to retreat.
Sherry: All too often our members find themselves in similar road rage situations all over the country. Please remember, if you are ever in a road rage situation drive to a safe, public location away from the aggressor. However, if you are forced to display, or use your firearm, call 911 first then call your attorney answered emergency hotline located on the back of your member card.
When it comes to legal defense for self-defense we’ve got you covered.
Since 1983, Jack Alpert has had a Federal Firearms License (FFL), bought and sold firearms, and in 2007 started Missouri Bullet Company (MBC). The rural Johnson County, home-based operation specializes in casting lead bullets for handloaders, currently employs ten people and is now one of the largest cast bullet manufacturers in the country.
Alpert retired from his job as an administrator with the Board of Public Utilities in Kansas City and decided to take his love for shooting and reloading and turn it into a business to supplement his retirement income. For all intents and purposes, Alpert was a pillar of the community and led an exemplary life for over 30 years. But in 2008, his past caught up with him.
Back in the early 70’s, Alpert had two felony convictions for possession of drugs ($25 worth of Benzedrine tablets) In both cases, Alpert served less than a year in jail. Case closed. Felons cannot possess firearms, right?
FELONS WITH FIREARMS . . . LEGAL?
In 1965, Congress passed an amendment to the Federal Firearms Act of 1938 that allowed felons to apply for relief from the disability prohibiting possession of firearms. The amended law required that a felon would have to convince the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) that he was not a risk to the safety of the public, given the circumstances surrounding the crime and subsequent conviction. If successful, the felon could then be granted the right to own guns legally.
In 1983, Alpert successfully petitioned the federal government and his right to possess firearms was restored. In 1986, Alpert applied for and was granted his Federal Firearms License (FFL) and was now legal to operate as a firearms dealer. Alpert began buying and selling firearms. He had no problems renewing his FFL every three years as required.
All was right with the world. That is until he decided to expand his manufacturing line at MBC.
WHAT THE LAW GRANTED, THE LAW TOOK AWAY
In 2010, Alpert wanted to expand manufacturing line to include ammunition. He bought tens of thousands of dollars of additional equipment and applied to renew his FFL. However, he was informed that he was no longer eligible because of a 2008 change in Missouri law barring convicted felons from possessing firearms. (His firm was still granted a federal license to continue manufacturing bullets.)
From 1983 until 2008, it was legal for Alpert to possess guns. During that period of time, Missouri law made it a crime for an individual convicted of a “dangerous felony” to possess a gun. That did not apply to Alpert’s situation. But in 2008, the Missouri Legislature amended section 571.070 of the Missouri Revised Statutes to make it a crime for a person convicted of any felony to possess firearms. That included Alpert.
Alpert could no longer possess two family heirlooms nor even test his own company’s product. He, therefore, decided against expanding his manufacturing to include ammunition since it would be illegal for him to test the product himself.
LEGAL CHALLENGE BROUGHT BEFORE THE COURT
So, on June 1, 2015 Alpert filed suit against the State of Missouri. Alpert was seeking a declaratory judgment that Section 571.070 violated his rights under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and article I, section 23 of the Missouri Constitution and interfered with his ability to defend himself and his family, and with his ability to earn a living.
After a Circuit Court denied his claim on October 3, 2016, Alpert appealed the matter to the Missouri Supreme Court. One year later, on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, the Supreme Court heard arguments from Alpert’s attorney and the Missouri Attorney General’s office on the issues presented in Alpert’s petition.
The State took a position that Alpert that Alpert does not have standing to bring the case because he does not own any guns he could fight in court to keep, arguing that “there’s no way to argue that the law violates his rights prior in advance of the law being enforced against him.”
By that circular logic, Alpert’s attorney argued Alpert would have to go out and commit a felony and possess a firearm in order to bring his case before a court, something Alpert was not going to do.
As is typical in Supreme Court cases, the Justices will take the matter under advisement and issue its ruling at some time in the future.
To read Alpert’s brief before the Supreme Court, click here and to read the State’s response, click here.
U.S. LawShield Independent Program Attorney John Schleiffarth breaks down pending Missouri gun legislation in the video below.
Pending Missouri gun legislation transcript:
Hi, I’m John Schleiffarth, Independent Program Attorney for U.S. LawShield in Missouri.
I’m coming to you with a legislative update about proposed bills that could become law in Missouri.
The first one I want to talk about is House Bill 458.
House Bill 458 would add additional protections for citizens who own firearms and would like to keep them in their car on an employer-owned parking lot. The bill would prevent employers from retaliating against employees who have guns that they bring with them in their cars to work.
This is a good bill. It looks like it may pass.
The next bill I’d like to discuss is House Bill 185. House Bill 185 has been proposed to create harsh new penalties against gun owners who don’t quickly report a lost or stolen firearm to
the state. Those harsh new penalties could even include jail time.
I’m opposed to this bill and I don’t think this bill will make it into law. However, we’re going to keep an eye on it.
The final bill I like to discuss is House Bill 366. House Bill 366 with that extra unnecessary steps to the purchase of a firearm in Missouri. This bill does not have a lot of support. I don’t see it getting out of committee. I don’t see it passing. That’s a good thing for Missouri.
U.S. Law Shield of Missouri Members have a great new opportunity to work in the firearms industry due to a massive new facility opening in the Columbia area.
On a Facebook video, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens announced that American Outdoor Brands Corp. (NASDAQ Global Select: AOBC) will open a new distribution and operations facility in central Missouri. American Outdoor Brands, formerly Smith & Wesson Holding Co., makes and sells shooting, hunting, and other outdoor gear.
Greitens noted that the new 500,000 square-foot distribution center, which will be constructed in Boone County, could bring more than 325 new jobs to the Columbia area. Plans are underway for the company to break ground in the next few months, and construction on the new site will take approximately 18 months to complete. The land on which this site is planned to use is currently owned by Green Acres, LLC, and American Outdoor Brands has a deal in place to buy it for $3.1 million.
The company is working closely with Missouri Department of Economic Development, Regional Economic Development, Inc., and Boone County on the development of the project.
In addition to the distribution center the company has plans to build a 35,000-square-foot office space, and could even purchase an additional 22 acres for future growth–including a potential for an accessories division headquarters. In total, American Outdoor Brands has plans that could provide it with enough space for 1 million square feet of building space.
“We continue to focus on our vision of being a leading provider of high quality products for the shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiast,” said James Debney, president and CEO of American Outdoor Brands.
Debney added, “Our meetings with representatives of Missouri and Governor Greitens demonstrated that they are business-friendly and understand what we need as a company to be successful.”
According to online reports, the company is currently seeking state and local tax credits to help finance the project and has presented an application for $1.5 million in Business Use Incentives for Large-Scale Development, or BUILD, incentives from the Missouri Development Finance Board.
The Missouri Department of Economic Development has also said that the company could receive more than $7.5 million of state incentives if it meets job-creation goals. The company has already announced that it intends to create at least 328 jobs, with an average salary of $46,786, or an average of $22.50 per hour, which is more than the Boone County average salary of $36,225. —by Peter Suciu, Contributor, Texas & U.S. Law Shield Blog