Missouri Tells the Feds: We Won’t Enforce Your Gun Laws
On June 12, Missouri governor Mike Parson signed HB 85, the “Second Amendment Preservation Act” recently approved by the state’s legislature.
The new law is designed to prevent state and local law enforcement from enforcing federal laws regulating private ownership of firearms.
Declares that all federal acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules, and regulations, whether past, present, or future, that infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution must be invalid in this state, including those that impose a tax, levy, fee, or stamp on these items as specified in the bill; require the registration or tracking of these items or their owners; prohibit the possession, ownership, use, or transfer of a firearm; or order the confiscation of these items
Moreover, the act opens up law enforcement officials and other state personnel to legal penalties if they do enforce federal firearms laws and
[s]pecifies that any entity or person who knowingly acts under the color of any federal or state law to deprive a Missouri citizen of the rights or privileges ensured by the federal and state constitutions to keep and bear arms must be liable to the injured party for redress, including monetary damages in the amount of $50,000 per occurrence and injunctive relief. … Sovereign immunity shall not be a defense.
Basically, the law attempts to do two different things. The first is to declare certain federal laws invalid within the state.
The second is to state that police are prohibited from providing “material aid and support” to federal officials seeking to prosecute Missouri residents under federal gun laws.
The first aspect of the legislation is on shaky ground. The second aspect, however, has the potential to have a real effect on the enforcement of federal gun laws in the state.
States Can’t Invalidate Federal Laws, But They Don’t Have to Help Enforce Them
Naturally, gun control advocates and opponents of decentralization have condemned the bill, mostly on grounds of the legal doctrines and federal preemption and federal supremacy.
But this only applies to the part of the bill claiming to invalidate federal law. National Public Radio, for instance quotes law professor Stephen Vladeck, who states: “If I am a resident of Missouri, I am no less subject to federal gun laws today than [before the law wa
Article from Mises Wire