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Judge Sides with Biden, Ruling Missouri Second Amendment Law ‘Unconstitutional’

A Missouri law that would have penalized police for enforcing federal gun laws was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge Tuesday, handing a win to the Biden administration Department of Justice that filed suit against the law last year.

The DOJ alleged the law was undermining federal drug and weapons investigators by placing heavy fines of up to $50,000 on police departments if they “infringed” on Missourians’ Second Amendment rights by following any federal laws.

The Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA) was ruled “invalid, null, void and of no effect” by U.S. District Court Judge Brian Wimes, an Obama appointee.

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey said in a statement on social media he plans to appeal the court’s ruling at the Eighth Circuit Court and expects a “better result” there.

“As Attorney General, I will protect the Constitution, which includes defending Missourians’ fundamental right to bear arms,” he said in a Twitter thread. “If the state legislature wants to expand upon the foundational rights codified in the Second Amendment, they have the authority to do that. But SAPA is also about the Tenth Amendment. It’s about federalism and individual liberty, so we will be appealing the court’s ruling.”

Second Amendment Preservation Act

Signed into law by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson in June 2021, the law declares invalid all federal laws infringing on the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Missouri Constitution.

The act defined infringements as “certain taxes, certain registration and tracking laws, certain prohibitions on the possession, ownership, use, or transfer of a specific type of firearm, and confiscation orders.”

The act declared “that federal supremacy does not apply to federal laws that restrict or prohibit the manufacture, ownership, and use of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition within the state because such laws exceed the scope of the federal government’s authority.”

It further imposed the duty of protecting the rights of “law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms” in the hands of courts and law enforcement agencies in the state.

“Under this act, no public officer or state or local employee has the authority to enforce firearms laws declared invalid by the act. However, state employees may accept aid from federal officials in an effort to enforce Missouri laws. Sovereign immunity shall not be an affirmative defense under this act.”

The fine for a public officer or state or local employee who attempted to enforce the law deemed invalid by the act became subject to a penalty of “$50,000 per employee hired by the law enforcement agency.”

The act did not make it a violation to aid federal officials in pursuit of a suspect in certain cases, including felony crimes involving weapons violations and controlled substance violations.

Challenged by DOJ

In its suit against the state’s law, the DOJ argued the Act violated the U.S. Constitution by ignoring federal supremacy as the act stated. On top of seeking the act be nullified, the DOJ sought a declaration that state and local officials may participate in federal task forces or investigations without fear of penalty.

In 2022, the DOJ filed a lawsuit arguing Missouri’s law has undermined federal drug and weapons investigations.

“The United States’ law enforcement operations have been affected through withdrawals from and/or limitations on cooperation in joint federal-state task forces, restrictions on sharing information, confusion about the validity of federal law in light of SAPA, and discrimination against federal employees and those deputized for federal law enforcement who lawfully enforce federal law,” court documents claimed.

A federal agent in charge of the Kansas City Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) claimed in an affidavit submitted to the court in a separate lawsuit that a dozen state and local officers withdrew from participating in ATF task forces at least in part because of the law, according to The Missouri Independent.

Wimes said in the ruling that federal law cannot be nullified by any state law and that Missouri legislators are aware of that.

“SAPA’s practical effects are counterintuitive to its stated purpose,” Wimes wrote. “While purporting to protect citizens, SAPA exposes citizens to greater harm by interfering with the Federal Government’s ability to enforce lawfully enacted firearms regulations designed by Congress for the purpose of protecting citizens within the limits of the Constitution.”

Wimes added state and local law enforcement officials in the state may join federal task forces, assist in the investigation and enforcement of federal firearm crimes, and fully share information with the federal government without fear of penalty.

“The States of Missouri and its officers, agents, and employees and any others in active concert with such individuals are prohibited from any and all implementation and enforcement of H.B. 85.”

READ 46 COMMENTS
  • Michael says:

    Just because the federal government passes a law does not mean it’s Constitutional. When they pass any law that infringes on the U.S. and States Constitution that law is void and the states have no obligation to enforce it. And every right to stop it from being enforced.

  • Auntie Vyris says:

    The MO AG is correct. The Feds say, “Up yours. We’re infringing.” Missouri says, “Up yours sideways, you’re breaking the law.”

    Get yer popcorn.

  • Louis Galmarini says:

    The 2nd Amendment was the result of a GOD-GIVEN RIGHT to self-preservation and the continuation of life. It is a by-product, secondary to this right given to every man, woman, and child of the United States of America. There is NO federal or state law, NO County or City ordinance, NO Township bylaw, no company or government ‘policy’, nor door signs or other limitations/barriers of any kind, nor ANY person in ‘authority’, (including local, state, and/or federal officials, [and which also includes the President of the United States]), who/which can infringe upon this right of AN AMERICAN CITIZEN, to own and/or carry ANY type, or amount of weapon(s), anywhere – PERIOD.

    That’s what ‘SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED’ means.

    It is not an implied suggestion. It’s not an inferred advisement. It is a mandated INALIENABLE right, given by God, and inspired to those who conceived, approved, and facilitated the 2nd Amendment. Therefore, according to the LETTER OF THE LAW, MANDATED IN THE CONSTITUTION, it is a CONSTITUTIONALLY ILLEGAL act to deter or deny this GOD-GIVEN right to ANY American citizen.

    Anyone who doesn’t understand this needs to get educated in fundamental Constitutional Law (101)…

    The 2nd amendment was established for citizens of this republic to protect themselves, their families, and property from criminals or, worse, protect us from a government that has been established with the intent of subverting the freedoms guaranteed to this republic by our constitution.

    The Left declared war on Republicans and America many years ago. The sooner the Right realizes that and takes the gloves off and understands that there’s no rules in a street fight…the better. WE are in a struggle for the very heart and soul of this nation—-FIGHT back for your children’s future and the future of Lady Liberty.

    Therefore, if/when I want to procure a firearm, I will procure a firearm. I will NOT need a license. I will NOT need a registration, I will NOT need a permit, and I certainly will NOT need anyone’s permission.

    (Did you hear that DOJ/Gestapo? When you come for me – BE PREPARED TO DIE).

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