A proposal in Missouri to nullify certain federal gun control laws could actually mean jail for federal agents who try to enforce them.
The nullification legislation passed the House General Laws Committee on Thursday, the Associated Press reported, after having passed the full state Senate last month.
A sign at a rally at the Missouri State Capital in Jefferson City, Mo., Sept. 11, 2013 after the governor vetoed a bill that attempted to nullify certain federal gun laws. The rally is in support of an override of that veto. (AP/Orlin Wagner)
The bill says any federal law impeding Missourians' Second Amendment rights is null and void. Federal agents enforcing such laws could face civil or criminal penalties up to one year in jail with a $1,000 fine.
The effort might be futile, as courts have generally ruled that states can't nullify federal laws. However, recent court decisions have also been more friendly to the individual right to bear arms. But it's unlikely that Missouri Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon would sign the bill, after vetoing a similar measure last year.
The Missouri bill also says that school personnel may carry concealed weapons in school buildings. The bill must still go to the House Rules Committee before moving to the floor. One provision of the bill allows concealed gun permit holders to openly carry firearms even in cities that ban open-carry.
The Second Amendment Preservation Act passed the full state Senate by a 23-10 vote, and was sponsored Republican state Sen. Brian Nieves, who believes it's important to secure liberties, despite what a court may rule.
"I am proud to say that we have passed arguably one of the strongest Second Amendment protections in the country," Nieves said last month after the bill passed the Senate.
The bill doesn't specify which federal gun law would be nullified, but mentions fees, registration and tracking policies that “have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership" of guns and ammunition by law-abiding citizens, the AP reported.
The National Rifle Association actually announced its opposition to the legislation because of an amendment in the Senate bill that required stolen guns be reported within the first 72 hours. Even after the Senate took the provision out, the NRA said it was neutral.
(H/T Southeast Missourian)
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