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Constitutional Law

Missouri law would override federal gun laws; sponsor says he has votes for approval

Posted Aug 30, 2013 7:45 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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If the vote goes as expected, Missouri lawmakers will enact a new law next month that nullifies all federal gun laws.

The law also makes it a crime for federal agents to enforce U.S. gun laws and allows Missouri residents to sue any officer who arrests them under such laws, the New York Times (reg. req.) reports. According to the newspaper, “The law amounts to the most far-reaching states’ rights endeavor in the country, the far edge of a growing movement known as ‘nullification’ in which a state defies federal power.”

Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the bill last month, but a dozen Democrats are expected to join Republican lawmakers in a Sept. 11 vote that would override the veto.

The only Republican legislator who voted against the bill when it initially passed was State Rep. Jay Barnes. “Our Constitution is not some cheap Chinese buffet where we get to pick the parts we like and ignore the rest,” he told the Times.

The author of the bill is State Rep. Doug Funderburk. He expects enough votes for a veto override—and he says the idea is catching on elsewhere. “I’ve got five different states that want a copy” of the bill, he told the Times.

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