Less than one week after being passed by the state Senate, lawmakers in the Missouri state House of Representatives approved a bill protecting the right of citizens of the Show Me State to keep and bear arms. By a vote of 116-38 on May 8, the House signed off on HB 436 — the Second Amendment Preservation Act.The measure now awaits Governor Jay Nixon's signature or veto.
Nixon, a two-term Democrat, has not indicated whether he intends to sign the bill into law. He did, however, announce his plan to veto a bill that would have allowed school employees to qualify as “protection officers” and carry concealed weapons on school grounds.
Should Nixon refuse to sign HB 436, it is worth noting that the bill was passed by a veto-proof majority of state legislators. In fairness, however, just because supporters of the Second Amendment Preservation Act have the numbers, lawmakers might not have the will to go through the override procedure.
With his signature, Governor Nixon would join his colleague Sam Brownback of Kansas, who recently enacted a similar measure passed with overwhelming support by the Kansas state legislature.
While there are similarities between the Kansas and Missouri measures, the text of the Missouri bill goes much farther in its bold opposition to attempts by the federal government to infringe on the right of Missourians to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
Basing his bill substantially on the right of states to nullify federal overreaches as set out by James Madison in his Virginia Resolution of 1798, state Representative Doug Funderburk (R-St. Peters) is the primary sponsor of HB 436.
"We have the authority to enforce these laws. We are trying to position [ourselves] so that we in this state can have safer neighborhoods," Funderburk told Fox News.
Funderburk deserves credit for the fearless rejection of federal designs on shrinking the scope of the Second Amendment.
The text of the bill declares that the Missouri General Assembly is “firmly resolved to support and defend the United States Constitution against every aggression, either foreign or domestic."
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Photo: State Capitol of Missouri