Missouri Legislature Nears Approval Of Nullification Bill To Limit Federal Gun Control

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MOFLAG

The Missouri State Legislature is on the verge of forwarding a bill to Democratic Governor Jay Nixon that, if signed into law, will nullify virtually all Federal gun laws while asserting the State’s rejection of “unlimited submission” to Federal powers not enumerated in the Constitution.

On Wednesday, the Missouri State Senate approved a bill that originated in the State House of Representatives – HB 1439 – and returned the measure, with minor markups, to the House for final approval. The House had originally passed the bill on an overwhelming 110-36 vote. The Senate followed suit, approving the measure by a vote of 23-8.

According to the Tenth Amendment Center blog, both chambers tagged the measure as an “emergency” bill, which fast-tracks its enactment sooner than the standard 90 days required for news laws to take effect after a legislative session has adjourned for the year.

As the Tenth Amendment Center notes, embedding in the measure’s language is a strong message to the Federal government about the Missouri Legislature’s position on State sovereignty vis-à-vis the Federal government:

With language inspired by Thomas Jefferson, HB1439 declares that the state rejects the idea of “unlimited submission” to federal power. It also declares that “whenever the federal government assumes powers that the people did not grant it in the Constitution, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”

… The state capitol city’s namesake [that’s Jefferson City] would have been proud, said Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey. “This is exactly what Thomas Jefferson himself said that states had a duty to do,” he said. “States aren’t supposed to stand by and do nothing while the federal government violates the Constitution. And they’re not supposed to be willing partners in the act either.”

What does HB 1439 do? It pretty much nullifies anything the Federal government attempts to do to guns that the 2nd Amendment hasn’t already covered: “All federal acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules, and regulations, whether past, present, or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

Here’s the relevant portion of the measure the Senate approved this week:

(8) The people of Missouri have vested the general assembly with the authority to regulate the manufacture, possession, exchange, and use of firearms within the borders of this state, subject only to the limits imposed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Missouri Constitution; and

(9) The general assembly of the state of Missouri strongly promotes responsible gun ownership, including parental supervision of minors in the proper use, storage, and ownership of all firearms, the prompt reporting of stolen firearms, and the proper enforcement of all state gun laws. The general assembly of the state of Missouri hereby condemns any unlawful transfer of firearms and the use of any firearm in any criminal or unlawful activity.

1.410. The following federal acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules, and regulations shall be considered infringements on the people’s right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and article I, section 23 of the Constitution of Missouri, within the borders of this state, including, but not limited to:

(1) Any tax, levy, fee, or stamp imposed on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services which might reasonably be expected to create a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;

(2) Any registering or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which might reasonably be expected to create a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;

(3) Any registering or tracking of the owners of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which might reasonably be expected to create a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;

(4) Any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens; and

(5) Any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.

1.420. All federal acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules, and regulations, whether past, present, or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution shall be invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, shall be specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.