On Tuesday, the Missouri state Senate approved a bill that would nullify federal attempts to infringe upon the right of citizens of that state to keep and bear arms.
Senator Brian Nieves, sponsor of the bill, said that if enacted, his legislation would preserve the protections of the Second Amendment in the Show Me state. “This is primarily purposed to protect liberties of Missourians,” said Nieves.
Citing the Missouri state constitution and the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the measure restates the scope of federal authority as intended by our Founders. The bill further declares 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.”
Any and all federal laws attempting to infringe on the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution are invalid according to relevant provisions in the legislation. Specifically, the bill nullifies “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.”
Furthermore, the bill states that “it is the duty of the courts and law enforcement agencies to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.”
Should the bill be enacted, all public officers and state employees would be stripped of any authority to enforce firearms laws declared invalid by the act.
With regard to penalties for violation of this legislation, the bill declares:
Any person who acts under the color of law to deprive a Missouri citizen of rights or privileges ensured by the federal and state constitutions shall be liable for redress. In such an action attorney's fees and costs may be awarded, and official or qualified immunity shall not be available to the defendant as a defense.
The bill would subject federal agents to civil and criminal penalties for knowingly enforcing federal gun laws. Agents could face up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
While the bill is a worthy attempt to thwart the Obama administration’s seemingly endless effort to disarm civilians, an amendment tacked onto the measure at the last minute is worrisome.
As reported by the (Springfield, Missouri) News-Leader, the troublesome amendment would “require individuals to report stolen firearms to police within 72 hours after discovering a gun has been stolen.”
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