It was the first time that the United States had put the contentious question of gun control to a popular vote, and the result was seen as a sign that the gun lobby's influence could be on the wane. The National Rifle Association spent almost $4m (pounds 2.5m) on presenting its case, with newspaper and television advertisements, and speakers,including Charlton Heston, atmeetings across the state.
The turn-out was far higher than expected, and exit polls indicated that it was primarily inner-city voters (predominantly black) and suburban voters (predominantly white) who had clinched the victory.
Missouri is one of only seven states in the US where carrying a concealed weapon is banned. The state resorted to a referendum after pro-gun politicians had repeatedly tried and failed to have the law changed in the legislature.
The "right to carry" lobby has made steady inroads over the past decade, with a majority of states legalising the right. Carrying a concealed weapon is now permitted in 31 states, and allowed with restrictions in a further 12.Reuse content