By: José Niño
The Biden administration’s Justice Department filed a statement of interest declaring that Missouri’s Second Amendment Preservation Act is unconstitutional.
This Missouri law effectively nullifies many federal gun control regulations. The Biden administration believes that this law prevents federal law enforcement from cooperating with state and local police. In the administration’s view, this law is unconstitutional for the impediments it places on law enforcement cooperation.
There is currently a lawsuit in Cole County, Missouri that is calling on the federal government to declare the Second Amendment Preservation Act unconstitutional and also demand that federal courts issue an injunction against the new Missouri law.
"HB85 [the Second Amendment Preservation Act] is legally invalid. Under the United States Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, the State of Missouri has no power to nullify federal laws," the department's statement read.
In a separate statement, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Frederic Winston said that the Second Amendment Preservation Act "has already had a significant impact on ATF's partnerships with state and local law enforcement offices.” The statement called attention to how 12 of 53 state and local officers have stopped participating with ATF task forces since the law went into effect.
This recent legal flare up is one of the latest moves that Attorney General Merrick Garland has made against red states which have passed controversial laws that butt heads with the federal government.
Additionally, the Justice Department has been on a crusade against illegal guns. Earlier this summer, the Justice Department rolled out a task force with the goal of tracing firearms used in crime scenes.
Missouri is a solidly pro-gun state. It is ranked in 12th and 13th place for Guns & Ammo magazine’s respective rankings for best states for gun owners and best states for concealed carry.
Since it passed Constitutional Carry in 2016, Missouri has been a leader on gun rights. Its current nullification law offers a new, bottom-up strategy to confront the current gun control regime.
Other states should study Missouri’s example and seek to emulate it. The federal government won’t get the message that its anti-Second Amendment schemes are not wanted until it starts receiving great resistance from below.
José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.