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      Missouri gun rights proposal could be costly

      The state auditor is cautioning there could be significant costs stemming from a proposed constitutional amendment to enhance Missouri residents' right to bear arms.

      A measure on the Aug. 5 ballot will ask voters whether the state should declare that the right is "unalienable." The measure also would subject any gun-control measures to strict legal scrutiny.

      The official financial summary prepared by the auditor's office notes that the measure "will likely lead to increased litigation and criminal justice related costs" that "could be significant."

      A similar constitutional amendment was adopted two years ago by Louisiana voters. Since then, the Louisiana attorney general's office says it has provided aid to district attorneys in about 200 cases to defend against challenges to criminal laws involving the gun-rights amendment.