Missouri law enforcement is no longer required to enforce federal gun laws under a new proposal signed in to law.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed the bill dubbed the “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” which declares all federal gun laws past, present and future to be invalid.
The bill adds significant protections to the Second Amendment, banning all federal laws related to taxing, tracking, registration, production and use of firearms.
Parson, a former sheriff, said the purpose of the legislation was to stand up to the federal government.
“We’re going to do things to make sure you don’t overreach your authority from the federal government,” he said at Frontier Justice, a gun store and shooting range at Lee’s Summit.
The law also prohibits local police from assisting federal agents enforcing federal laws. Furthermore, the law allows a $50,000 lawsuit against anyone acting under federal or state law to deprive a Missouri citizen of their Second Amendment rights.
Sponsor of the bill Jered Taylor (R-Christian County) called House Bill 85 the strongest Second Amendment bill in the country. He said the bill was a response to federal overreach and using local law enforcement to carrying out federal mandates.
“The feds use us,” he said. “They rely on us to enforce their laws. Look at medical marijuana in the state of Missouri — this is exactly what we do with that. It’s exactly what sanctuary cities use.”
State senator and co-sponsor Eric Burlison also praised the bill.
“At the end of the day we’re protecting Missourians rights that we’re guaranteed in the constitution. All of our rights are threatened when we don’t have the second amendment. It’s the one right that upholds all the other rights to make sure those rights are never going to be taken away,” Burlison said.
He called it a response to Biden’s aggressive posturing on gun control.
“We are making sure that whatever President Biden does by executive order, we are not going to enforce. In essence, by signing this bill today, we are telling President Biden to go pound sand,” Burlison said.
Biden has shown that he is intent on gun control. Earlier this year, the president has signed an executive order directing the DOJ to address gun violence by stopping the proliferation of “ghost guns,” banning the use of rifle braces, regulating the National Firearms Act, publishing model “red flag” legislation for states, investing in anti-violence interventions, issuing an annual report on firearms trafficking, as well as appointing a new director of the ATF who is sympathetic to gun control.
Opponents of the law are confident that the courts will strike it down, arguing that state laws cannot nullify federal laws. They claim that the increase in gun violence in the state makes this a “dangerous” bill that protects criminals.
“We are frustrated and disappointed that Governor Parson signed a dangerous bill into law today that ties the hands of law enforcement officers while Missouri is facing one of the worst gun violence epidemics in the country,” said retired Sheriff Rick Walter, a volunteer with the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action.
The Missouri Sheriff’s Association agreed.
In statement back in April on the then-proposed law, the union argued that the legislation would protect dangerous criminals and impair investigations. “For example, if a dangerous criminal robs the local bank at gunpoint or a child is kidnapped at gunpoint, Missouri law enforcement could not investigate these matters or offer “material aid” to the FBI in any way,” the statement read.
A spokesperson for the Kansas City Police Department told KCTV5 a somewhat mixed message.
“As always we will comply with whatever changes occur and enforce the law accordingly. We cannot speak to what impact this might have for our department as that remains to be seen. We have and will continue to work with our federal partners in regard to gun crimes.”