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.
By Chase Smith