Thu. Feb 9th, 2023
Missouri and the Federal Government are going head-to-head on gun law enforcement.
The Justice Department wrote Missouri to say the state went too far with the Second Amendment Preservation Act.
But Governor Mike Parson and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt wrote back to say they will enforce the new state law at all costs.
Under the new law signed by Parson last Saturday, a person or entity that infringes on the Second Amendment would face a $50-thousand dollar fine for each occurrence.
“Missourians’ and Americans’ Second Amendment rights are enshrined in the Constitution – I will defend those rights at every turn,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “Our letter to Biden’s Department of Justice sends a clear message: we will fight any attempts from the federal government to encroach on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”
“The Second Amendment Preservation Act is about protecting law-abiding Missourians against government overreach and unconstitutional federal mandates,” Governor Parson said. “We will reject any attempt by the federal government to circumvent the fundamental right Missourians have to keep and bear arms to protect themselves and their property. Throughout my career, I have always stood for the Constitution and our Second Amendment rights, and that will not change today or any day.”
The letter, which is in response to the Department of Justice’s Wednesday letter to both the Attorney General and the Governor on the recently passed and signed Second Amendment Preservation Act, begins with, “Your letter purporting to ask for clarification of this important legislation, which was purposefully leaked to the news media, is riddled with a misunderstanding of the law and falsehoods. We will not stand by while the federal government tries to tell Missourians how to live our lives. Missouri is not attempting to nullify federal law. Instead, Missouri is defending its people from federal government overreach by prohibiting state and local law enforcement agencies from being used by the federal government to infringe Missourians’ right to keep and bear arms.”
The letter argues that, under the Second and Tenth Amendments, the right to keep and bear arms is inalienable, and that Missouri has the right to refuse to enforce unconstitutional infringements by the federal government. The letter states, “Likewise, the Tenth Amendment directly limits the Federal Government’s ability to shift the balance of power within the federal system away from the States… the State of Missouri has every right under our system of government and the Tenth Amendment to place limitations on what state and local officials may do.”
The letter also notes the Department of Justice’s June 16 letter conflicts with their own policy toward “sanctuary cities,” stating, “On his first day in office, President Biden rescinded President Trump’s executive order that prohibited federal grant awards to sanctuary jurisdictions that refused to cooperate with the federal government to enforcement immigration laws. In April, the Office of Justice Programs reportedly repealed the Department of Justice’s policy that required recipients of a law enforcement grant to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as a condition of their funding… President Biden and the Department of Justice have decided to reward states and cities that refuse to cooperate with enforcing constitutional immigration laws that protect our citizens against foreign threats, but now they attack Missouri for refusing to cooperate with enforcing unconstitutional gun confiscation laws that put our citizens in danger and degrade their rights.”
The letter ends with, “We will fight tooth and nail to defend the right to keep and bear arms protected by the Second Amendment, Article I, § 23 of the Missouri Constitution, and the Second Amendment Preservation Act. And we will not tolerate any attempt by the federal government to deprive Missourians of this critical civil right.”