Missouri Governor Vetoes Bill Nullifying Federal Gun Grab

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
Missouri Governor Vetoes Bill Nullifying Federal Gun Grab

Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri vetoed a state bill that would have protected the right to keep and bear arms from federal infringement.

Governor Jay Nixon (shown in photo) declared his independence from the Missouri state legislature on July 5 by vetoing a bill passed overwhelmingly by that body.

With the issuing of a terse, constitutionally confused letter, Nixon notified the secretary of state of Missouri that he refused his assent to HB 436 and why he made that decision. HB 436 was titled the “Second Amendment Preservation Act” and would have denied to the federal government the authority to enact any statutes, rules, regulations, or executive orders “which restrict or prohibit the manufacture, ownership, and use of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition exclusively within the borders of Missouri.”

Now, one supposes, the federal government is free to impose its unconstitutional control of the God-given right to keep and bear arms within the formerly sovereign borders of the Show Me State.

In fairness, though, Nixon cannot be blamed too harshly for vetoing the bill. The constitution of the state of Missouri separates the state government into three distinct branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. In similar fashion to the federal Constitution, the Missouri constitution balances the powers of government, checking one against the others so that no one branch "shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others."

In light of that fact of constitutional construction of the Missouri charter, Nixon was within his rights to reject the Second Amendment Preservation Act, regardless of the level of legislative support the measure enjoyed.

Going forward, the true test of the state legislature’s commitment to the principles set forth in HB 436 will be whether it can muster the will to exercise another article of the state constitution: Article III, Section 32.

That provision of the state constitution provides that if two-thirds of both houses of the general assembly vote to pass the bill, “the objections of the governor thereto notwithstanding,” then the bill becomes law, regardless of the veto.

Click here to read the entire article.

Photo of Gov. Jay Nixon: AP Images

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