JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that the state's constitutional ban on retrospective application of new laws does not apply to criminal statutes.
Tuesday's decision came in the case of a southwest Missouri man accused of illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. A trial court dismissed the charge, finding that the felony conviction occurred before legislators broadened the statute making it illegal for convicted felons to possess guns.
The Supreme Court reinstated the charge Tuesday, making clear that the ban on retrospective application of new laws applies only to civil rights and remedies. The issue of retrospective laws in criminal cases has arisen previously in cases before the court, including several involving sex offenders.
The ruling sent the case back to Greene County Circuit Court.