Missouri case weighs gun rights, intoxication

Columbia Tribune columnist T.J. Greaney writes on Oct. 8 that, "Missouri is starting to get a reputation for gun goofiness."

During the 2009 Legislative session, the state's General Assembly considered allowing concealed firearms on college campuses. "The twisted logic held that pistol-toting underclassmen would help prevent the next Virginia Tech-style massacre," Greaney writes.

Now, a gun confiscation case is raising some legitimate issues that elude Greaney.

In November 2006, Scott County sheriff's deputies were dispatched to John L. Richard's home in Benton in response to a domestic dispute. His wife had decided to leave him and he threatened to kill himself by "blowing his head off." She said Richard cautioned that if police responded, he would make them shoot him. Before deputies arrived, Richard swallowed an unknown amount of morphine and amitriptyline. Deputies found him slumped over in a chair, unconscious with a fully loaded Beretta 9 mm semi-automatic handgun in his lap.

"He also had a shoulder holster with a spare clip of ammo, implying he intended to shoot more than just himself," Greaney writes. "Scott County deputies did the prudent thing. They confiscated Richard's gun, took him into custody, and he was later charged with possessing a loaded firearm while intoxicated, a Class D Felony.:

Richard's attorney asked a judge to dismiss the case. He argued it violated both the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 1 of the Missouri Constitution, which protects a citizen's right to keep and bear arms in defense of home, person and property.

Elsewhere:

-- Texas: Hutchison campaigns for gun rights; http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/politics/6660608.html

-- New Jersey: N.J. gubernatorial candidates address social issues, including medical marijuana, gay marriage; http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/10/nj_gubernatorial_candidates_ad_1.html

-- Virginia: Loudoun Lifts Ban On Weapons in Public Parks; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/06/AR2009100604192.html

-- Virginia: NRA Portrays New Yorkers as mobsters in ad; http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/10/07/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5369015.shtml

-- Indiana: Souder, Pence weigh in on gun, cross cases; http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20091008/NEWS03/310089955/1002/LOCAL

-- Tennessee: Guns in the political line of fire in governor's race; http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2009/oct/05/korda-guns-political-line-fire-tennessee-governors/

-- Wisconsin: Lawmakers target gun sales to straw buyers; http://www.fox6now.com/news/witi-091001-gun-laws,0,193963.story

-- Ohio: Sheriff hosting rifle training shows proper mindset toward gun owners; http://www.ohioccw.org/200910094634/sheriff-hosting-rifle-training-shows-proper-mindset-toward-gun-owners.html

-- Montana: Rehberg selected for Second Amendment Task Force; http://www.clarkforkchronicle.com/article.php/20091005113434589

-- Florida: Naples mayor under fire for supporting anti-gun group; http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2009/oct/03/poll-naples-mayor-under-fire-supporting-anti-gun-g/