US Judge Rules Missouri’s 2021 Gun Law Unconstitutional
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes ruled that Missouri's 2021 gun law, which prohibited local law enforcement of federal gun laws, is unconstitutional. In 2021, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a law prohibiting local law enforcement from enforcing any federal gun regulations.
“At best, this statute causes confusion among state law enforcement officials who are deputized for federal task force operations, and at worst, is unconstitutional on its face,” Wimes wrote in his 24-page decision.
The 2021 law – passed by the Republican-controlled General Assembly and signed by Gov. Parson – had sown confusion among Missouri law enforcement officials, who questioned how much they could cooperate with federal officials. The Department of Justice contended that Missouri's law drastically hinders federal law enforcement's efforts to combat gun-related crimes. After the law was passed, some police departments reacted by restricting cooperation with federal authorities or limiting gun serial number information sent to federal databases.
In a statement, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, a Republican, said the state is “prepared to defend this statute to the highest court and we anticipate a better result” from an appeals court that handles cases out of Missouri.
“Governor Parson has always been a strong advocate for Second Amendment rights and a champion for law enforcement, and he always will be. Governor Parson supports Attorney General Bailey as he works through the appellate process and is committed to administering the law as enacted by the General Assembly and interpreted by the Judiciary,” his office said.
Under the Second Amendment Protection Act (SAPA) in Missouri, any law enforcement officer who enforces a federal firearm regulation which infringes upon the rights of a Missourian can be fined a maximum of $50,000.
The U.S. Department of Justice brought a lawsuit against the state of Missouri in an effort to prevent the law from taking effect last year, and multiple local jurisdictions filed yet another suit in state court. Prosecutors at the federal level asserted that the bill weakened the power of the U.S. government and hindered the operations of law enforcement.
In 2021, St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and Jackson County took legal action against the Second Amendment Preservation Act by filing a lawsuit. Tishaura Jones, Mayor of St. Louis, Sam Page, County Executive of St. Louis County, and Frank White Jr., County Executive of Jackson County.
0. “Federal judge rules Missouri's ‘Second Amendment Preservation Act' unconstitutional” mycouriertribune.com, 7 Mar. 2023, https://www.mycouriertribune.com/news/state_news/federal-judge-rules-missouri-s-second-amendment-preservation-act-unconstitutional/article_feea2aef-93e9-5373-a266-16c85c79b91c.html
1. “‘A great day for public safety': Kansas City mayor applauds ruling on 2nd Amendment Preservation Act” KSHB 41 Kansas City News, 7 Mar. 2023, https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/a-great-day-for-public-safety-kansas-city-mayor-applauds-ruling-on-2nd-amendment-preservation-act
2. “Federal judge tosses Missouri gun law, ruling it ‘exposes citizens to greater harm'” Brunswick News, 7 Mar. 2023, https://thebrunswicknews.com/news/national_news/federal-judge-tosses-missouri-gun-law-ruling-it-exposes-citizens-to-greater-harm/article_da7a0b1a-cdb4-5d03-b668-04893123ad43.html
3. “Federal judge says controversial Missouri gun law violates US Constitution” CNN, 8 Mar. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/07/politics/missouri-gun-law-unconstitutional/index.html
4. “Federal judge rules Missouri 2nd Amendment Preservation Act unconstitutional” KSHB 41 Kansas City News, 7 Mar. 2023, https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/federal-judge-rules-missouri-2nd-amendment-preservation-act-unconstitutional
5. “Attorney general plans to appeal federal judge's ruling on Missouri gun law” ABC17News.com, 7 Mar. 2023, https://abc17news.com/politics/missouri-politics/2023/03/07/federal-district-judge-calls-missouri-gun-law-unconstitutional-harmful/
6. “Judge rules MO gun law blocking federal statutes is unconstitutional” News-Leader, 7 Mar. 2023, https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/politics/2023/03/07/judge-rules-mo-gun-law-blocking-federal-statutes-is-unconstitutional/69981754007/
7. “Federal court declares Mo. ‘Second Amendment Preservation Act’ unconstitutional, AG plans to appeal” KMOV4, 7 Mar. 2023, https://www.kmov.com/2023/03/07/federal-court-declares-mo-second-amendment-preservation-act-unconstitutional