With the addition of two minor amendments, the Missouri State Senate passed on April 30 a powerful gun rights protection bill, sending it back to the state House of Representatives where a nearly identical version already passed.
Considered by many to be a weaker version of a Senate bill currently awaiting action in the House, HB 1439 aims to protect the right of Missourians to keep and bear arms from encroachment by the federal government.
The “Second Amendment Preservation Act” begins by making inspiring statements reminiscent of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions whose spirit informs the entire legislation. The language of the bill also accurately restates the Founders’ intended relationship between the state and federal governments:
The general assembly of the state of Missouri is firmly resolved to support and defend the United States Constitution against every aggression, either foreign or domestic, and is duty bound to oppose every infraction of those principles which constitute the basis of the Union of the States because only a faithful observance of those principles can secure the nation's existence and the public happiness;
Acting through the United States Constitution, the people of the several states created the federal government to be their agent in the exercise of a few defined powers, while reserving to the state governments the power to legislate on matters which concern the lives, liberties, and properties of citizens in the ordinary course of affairs;
The limitation of the federal government's power is affirmed under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which defines the total scope of federal power as being that which has been delegated by the people of the several states to the federal government, and all power not delegated to the federal government in the Constitution of the United States is reserved to the states respectively, or to the people themselves;
Whenever the federal government assumes powers that the people did not grant it in the Constitution, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force;
The several states of the United States of America respect the proper role of the federal government, but reject the proposition that such respect requires unlimited submission.
If the government, created by compact among the states, was the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers granted to it by the states through the Constitution, the federal government's discretion, and not the Constitution, would necessarily become the measure of those powers. To the contrary, as in all other cases of compacts among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself as to when infractions of the compact have occurred, as well as to determine the mode and measure of redress.
Specifically, the legislation declares:
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