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Missouri Passes No-Commandeering Second Amendment Protection Act to Governor Parson

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The Missouri legislature has passed HB 85, “Second Amendment Preservation Act”. The bill passed the Senate 22 – 10 and the House 107 – 43.

The bill is a stringent anti-commandering act which forbids Missouri officials from enforcing or aiding in the enforcement of laws inimical to Second Amendment rights. From the

(1) Declares that laws,rules,orders,or other actions that collect data, restrict or prohibit the manufacture, ownership,and use of firearms, firearm accessories,or ammunition exclusively within this state exceed the powers granted to the federal government except to the extent they are necessary and proper for governing and regulating land and naval forces of the United States or for organizing,arming,and discipling militia forces actively employed in the service of the United States Armed Forces. Infringing actions would include any registration or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories,or ammunition or any registration or tracking of the ownership of firearms, firearm accessories,or ammunition;

The law goes much further, and allows entities who have been harmed by enforcement of the federal law to sue anyone who violated their Second Amendment rights.

I do not recall seeing this approach used before, although it is somewhat similar to what is being proposed in a recent Texas bill. Both bills are awaiting signature by the governors of the respective states. Both governors have said they will sign the bills. Governor Mike Parson has set a date: 12 June at 2 p.m. Governor Abbott of Texas has not set a date. He has until 20 June to sign the Texas bill. Several other states have passed similar bills, including Arizona.

The bills are a refreshing part of a revival of federalism.  Federalism was designed to be a curb on federal power, in order to keep governance closer to the people.

With the rise of the Progressive philosophy, the administrative state found a way for all branches of government to increase their power at the expense of the people governed.

Both bills are firmly founded in the  doctrine of anti-commandeering. The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled the federal government may not command the states to use state resources for federal purposes. 

Senator Burlison of Missoui is quoted as saying the Missoui bill does not prevent the federal government of enforcing its law. From

“Gun bans directly, magazine bans, attacks on private gun manufacturers, red flag laws and restrictions on individual citizens from buying firearms,” Burlison testified in January. He emphasized that day that his bill does not try to prevent the federal government from enforcing federal gun laws in Missouri.

The left cheered this doctrine when “sanctuary states” refused to aid the federal government in enforcing immigration laws. Now the left claims no such doctrine applies to states who resist laws infringing on Second Amendment rights. 

Missourri is one of 28 states which have laws which mirror the ban on weapons listed in the National Firearms Act. Short barreled rifles and shotguns, machine guns and silencers are all banned under Missouri law, with possession only allowed if permitted and licensed under Federal law.

In addition to the sanctuary state law, Texas has passed a law removing the state prohibition on silencers. The silencer or suppressor bill  is also awaiting signature by governor Abbott. 

Update: Both Governors have signed all three bills into law.

 ©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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