Missouri Governor Michael Lynn Parson, a Republican, U.S. Army veteran, and former police officer, will sign the ‘Second Amendment Preservation Act’ on Saturday at a ceremony at Frontier Justice, a Lee’s Summit shooting range where Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler declared her candidacy for U.S. Senate Thursday, promising to keep the seat in conservative hands.
Parson’s spokeswoman Kelli Jones wrote in a statement, “The Governor is aware of the legal implications of this bill, but also that, now more than ever, we must define a limited role for federal government in order to protect citizen’s rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.”
“This is about empowering people to protect themselves and acknowledging the federalist constitutional structure of our Government,” she added.
Passage of the ‘Second Amendment Preservations Act’ represents a victory for conservatives who have pushed the legislation for nearly a decade and picked up new momentum this year by responding to the Biden administration’s vows to enact stricter gun control.
Federal law prohibits gun possession for those convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors, but when Missouri passed a permitless concealed carry law in 2015, sheriffs were no longer conducting background checks.
Under the Second Amendment Preservation Act, that federal limitation is one of many gun laws that would be declared “invalid” in the state. Missouri law only prohibits felons and fugitives from having guns. Missouri police will be barred from enforcing federal gun laws that regulate weapons registration, tracking and possession of firearms by some domestic violence offenders.
“We are doing this bill because the Second Amendment is under attack. It’s under attack by the Democrats, specifically the Biden administration and the Democrats in Washington,” said Rep. Jered Taylor, a Republican who sponsored the bill, when it passed in May.
The Second Amendment Preservation Act has been introduced in Missouri since 2013, when lawmakers narrowly failed to override a veto from then Governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat.
Democrats this year sought to attack Republicans for the legislation’s restrictions on the powers of local police departments, but support among Republicans was overwhelming. It passed the House 111-42 and the Senate 22-10.
Critics have questioned the legality of nullifying federal laws, pointing to the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause. But proponents of the bill have brushed it off.
“We’re just simply saying we’re not going to lift a finger to enforce their rules,” state Sen. Eric Burlison, a Republican, said last month.