Missouri House Passes Ban On Enforcement Of Federal Gun Laws
The Missouri House has passed a bill to ban local police from enforcing federal gun laws.
The Republican-led House voted 103-43 in favor of the bill Thursday. The measure would penalize local police agencies if their officers enforce federal gun laws.
The Republican sponsor says he's motivated by the possibility of new federal gun restrictions under Democratic President Joe Biden and the Democratic-led U.S. House.
“We’re telling Robert Beto O’Rourke and everybody else that, hell yes we’re standing up to preserve the Second Amendment rights of our constituents,” said Republican Rep. Nick Schroer, referring to the former Texas congressman and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.
If enacted, the Missouri measure would penalize local police departments if their officers enforce federal gun laws. Those agencies could be sued by those who broke federal gun laws and would face minimum $50,000 fines.
“We’re literally defunding our law enforcement agencies to give that money to criminals,” St. Louis Democratic Rep. Peter Meredith said before asking the House to vote against the bill. “This is not hyperbole."
Federal law enforcement could still enforce federal gun laws, but any Missouri officers would be barred from helping. Missouri police also could no longer serve on any federal gun law taskforces.
House lawmakers on Wednesday stripped provisions that would have penalized individual officers who enforced federal gun laws in an effort to make it more appealing to police. The bill instead penalizes police agencies for violations.
The measure now goes to the state's GOP-led Senate for consideration.