Missouri’s proposed legislation that would make it illegal to enforce any federal gun control laws enacted in 2013 and beyond passed by an overwhelming majority in the state’s House of Representatives this week and will move on to its Senate.
The bill sponsored by state Rep. Casey Guernsey (R-Bethany), which the House passed with a 117-43 vote, says that a “federal official must not enforce a federal firearm law when the firearm is manufactured and remains in the state and that any new federal law banning or restricting ownership of a semi-automatic firearm is unenforceable.”
Guernsey told the Huffington Post that “whenever the federal government or President Obama takes any measure on gun control,” they are taking away Second Amendment rights of citizens. This proposed legislation would only apply to gun laws enacted in 2013 and afterward, because Guernsey said he believes those put in place in prior years can be effective.
“We wanted the strongest possible language,” Guernsey said of HB170, according to the Associated Press. “We don’t want to have further gun control enforceable in the state of Missouri.”
The legislation also exempts non-licensed firearm dealers “engaged in a private transaction …from the national instant criminal background check system requirements of federal law” and lowers the age for concealed carry from 21 to 19.
Here’s what HuffPost reported from Democrats over the bill passing in the House:
“This is Missouri’s answer to mass shootings and gun violence around the country, just keep blaming the government,” state Rep. Stacey Newman (D-St. Louis) told HuffPost. “They want to make it easier to have a gun. It makes Missouri look so backwards by saying this is our answer. It says our guns mean more to us than saving lives.”
One Missouri Democrat said this bill is an example of what Republicans are attempting to do in the state.
“The number of blatantly unconstitutional gun bills like this is the clearest sign that crazy has taken over,” state Rep. Stephen Webber (D-Columbia) said. “It’s painful to watch moderate Republicans vote for something know, and privately admit, is nuts because they are so afraid of the far right.”
If it were to pass in the Senate and be signed by the governor, would the legislation actually stand up against federal laws? HuffPost reported George Washington University law professor Robert Cottrol saying it wouldn’t because state laws cannot override federal.
Earlier this year proposed legislation in Missouri came from the exact opposite side of the gun control debate. It would giving those in possession of a legally purchased “assault weapon or large capacity magazine” 90 days to remove them from the state, render them inoperable or surrender them.
In response to this, Republican lawmakers in the state introduced a bill that would make it a felony for anyone in the general assembly to even propose legislation that “further restricts an individual’s right to bear arms.”
Another bill (HB335), which was sent to the state Senate with a 102-55 vote from the House Wednesday, has a provision that states businesses cannot prevent people from “lawfully possessing a firearm in a motor vehicle …except [in] a motor vehicle that is owned or leased by the owner or operator” of the business.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Featured image via Shutterstock.com.