Missouri legislators are battling it out over gun laws. Last year, Governor Jay Nixon vetoed the Missouri Second Amendment legislation, HB436, which would have established the ‘Second Amendment Preservation Act,’ and would have criminalized federal agents enforcing federal gun laws. Though Nixon claimed the bill infringes on the US Constitution in giving precedence to state law over federal law (which is absolute non-sense), members of the legislature vowed a second round. Now they’ve made good on that vow.
House Bill 1439 was introduced by Rep. Doug Funderburk (R-103). He already has 33 co-sponsors.
The bill, in part, reads:
“All federal acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules, and regulations, whether past, present, or future, which 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 shall be invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, shall be specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.”
The bill goes on to declare:
“The general assembly hereby occupies and preempts the entire field of legislation touching in any way firearms, components, ammunition and supplies to the complete exclusion of any order, ordinance or regulation by any political subdivision of this state. Any existing or future orders, ordinances or regulations in this field are hereby and shall be null and void.”
According to Ron Calzone of Missouri First, Senate President pro tem Tom Dempsey and majority floor leader Ron Richard have both given assurances that the new bill will be fast-tracked in 2014, even though they both sided with Nixon and voted to kill the bill this year. Their greatest concerns have been addressed in the latest version of the bill, according to Calzone.
A companion bill, SB613, was also introduced earlier this year in the Senate by Brian Nieves.
Unlike Florida’s federal gun law nullification legislation, the striking thing in this legislation is that it has teeth. The bill, if it becomes law, will criminalize any actions of federal agents to enforce federal gun laws. State and local law enforcement will be given “discretionary power” to determine whether charges would be made. This needs to be kept in mind when we see the feds rubbing shoulders with local and state law enforcement with money and armored vehicles. Some claim this was a reason that Missouri law enforcement lobbied against the previous legislation in 2013, claiming that the requirement to arrest “federal law enforcement partners in the field” was unrealistic for them.
Mike Maharrey, national communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center isn’t counting on the legal community or the federal courts to uphold this particular provision, and he isn’t concerned about it.
“First of all, every bill in Missouri is severable,” Maharrey said. “That means if a court finds part of it unconstitutional, the rest remains. And the main provision calling on the entire state to stop enforcing federal gun control measures is on strong legal ground with Court precedent going from 1842 to 2012. States simply are not required to help the feds violate your rights. And the feds don’t have the manpower to do it themselves.”
Maharrey points out that the anti-commandeering doctrine holds that the feds do not have the authority to make the states act in any way, shape or form against their will. He also demonstrates that it has been successfully upheld in four separate Supreme Court cases and is considered legally valid.
The legislation is based on James Madison’s advice in Federalist #46, which our own Publius Huldah has expounded upon here.
This is a big concern for Missouri. As Dean Garrison has pointed out, Governor Nixon seems to be in bed with the federal government in order to secure back door gun registration. This is why he is in opposition to the legislation that was passed by the House and Senate last year.
Currently, two states have enacted Second Amendment Preservation Acts. Those two states are Kansas and Alaska.
There are several things you can do to help in advancing the legislation. According to the Tenth Amendment Center, you can contact Senate committee members regarding SB613. Here’s their contact information:
- Rob Schaaf (R) Vice Chair (573) 751-2183
- Doug Libla (R) (573) 751-4843
- Gary Romine (R) (573) 751-4008
- Ryan Silvey (R) (573) 751-5282
- Jason Holsman (D) (573) 751-6607
- Jamilah Nasheed (D) (573) 751-4415
Get involved by writing a letter to the editor of your newspaper or share this post with friends on social media who live in Missouri, educate them and have them respond accordingly.
Tim Brown is the Editor of Freedom Outpost.