Legislature may vote on GOP gun proposals this week
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 02:00:00 GMT —
Either chamber of the state legislature may vote this week on GOP-backed proposals to invalidate certain federal firearms restrictions in Missouri.
The House and Senate are each facing a proposal the other chamber has already passed. Senate Bill 613 passed its parent chamber in February and has been on the House's calendar for some time after clearing House committees. Meanwhile, the House sent a nearly identical bill to the Senate in early April. That version passed out of committee on April 15.
Both bills identify actions by federal agencies that "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." Such actions would include taxes or fees specific to firearms or ammunition, firearms registration or law either banning certain firearms or ordering confiscation of firearms. Efforts by federal agents to enforce such regulations would be considered a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum jail sentence of one year.
Missouri residents on Sunday indicated they largely supported the idea. Mary Barnhill said she thought the state had every right to protect Missourians' constitutional rights if the federal government would not.
"Our constitutional rights that were given to us by our forefathers need to be protected at all costs, and if the state wants to protect that, I'm all for it," she said.
But opponents of the proposals point out state law cannot override federal law. In his veto of similar legislation last year, Gov. Jay Nixon said such a move would violate the United States Constitution's Supremacy Clause. That provision, found in Article VI, reads, "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land."
If the Senate passes the House's version of the bill, it would need to go back to the House because of changes a Senate committee made. Those changes include adding a provision that would bar any federal law enforcement official who tried to carry out one of the prohibited federal actions from getting a law enforcement job anywhere in the state.