Jefferson City, Mo (September 11, 2013) – Today, the Missouri State House of Representatives sent more than just a message, they passed would could arguably be the strongest state-level protection of the right to keep and bear arms in modern times. The vote was 109-49
By overriding Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of House Bill 436 (HB436), the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act, the Missouri state legislature gave a resounding “No!” to all federal gun laws, rules, regulations and orders – past, present and future.
In presenting the bill to the house, bill sponsor Douglas Funderburk (R-St. Charles) noted, as both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison did, that it’s not just a good idea to resist such federal acts, but it’s duty. He cited the Missouri Constitution when he said, “The principle office of government is to secure the citizens’ rights.” He continued, “This bill is saying we want to protect the protections and freedoms not just in the Missouri Constitution but also in the US Constitution, and that is one of the roles of this body.”
He concluded, “It’s time for the State of Missouri to do our duty to protect the right to keep and bear arms, and to push back the tyranny of an out-of-control and incompetent and federal government.”
After some opposition from Representative Jill Schupp in which she attempted to scare people into believing that passing HB436 would “protect pedophiles…and rapists,” another State Rep chimed in to acknowledge that your right to keep and bear arms exists with or without government, and that the legislature is doing their duty to protect those rights. He said, “Whether you agree with who they are, where they live or how they carry, it’s still their right. We’re not giving people the right to carry, they already have the right to open carry.”
NEXT UP, STATE SENATE
Sources close to the Tenth Amendment Center say that the override vote in the State Senate is going to be even more difficult, where leading republicans have taken, as one source said, “The Nancy Pelosi version of the Constitution where federal law is supreme, and there’s nothing we can do about it but wait for federal courts to limit federal power.”
Majority Leader Ron Richard, (R-Joplin) is one of the leading opponents of the bill. He explained his flip-flop and reversal of his previous yes vote to the Columbia Daily Tribune in this way,
“Nullification is OK to make a statement, but if you are going to put it in law, it sends a signal that maybe you haven’t read the Constitution, especially our amateur constitutional scholars”
Introduced by Funderburk in February, the bill passed the house by a vote of 116-38. It passed the Senate by a vote of 26-6. A two-thirds majority is required in both houses to override Nixon’s veto and make HB436 law.
ALL FEDERAL GUN CONTROL MEASURES
As law, HB436 would nullify virtually every federal gun control measure on the books – or planned for the future. It reads, in part:
All federal acts, laws, 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.
The legislation goes on to specify some, but not all, of those federal acts which would be “rejected” by Missouri, and considered “null and void and of no effect” there.
(2) Such federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations include, but are not limited to:
(a) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1934;
(b) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968;
(c) Any tax, levy, fee, or stamp imposed on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(d) Any registering or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(e) Any registering or tracking of the owners of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(f) Any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of any type of firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens; and
(g) Any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.
The legislation also includes misdemeanor criminal penalties if agents of the federal government attempt to enact gun control measures that violate the Constitution of the United States and State Constitution of Missouri.
The immediate effect of the law would be as follows:
1. All state and local law enforcement would be required to stop enforcing, or even providing any assistance in enforcing, federal gun control measures – all of them. This is following the advice of James Madison when he wrote about “means…powerful and at hand” to oppose federal acts. When a number of states would take actions such as a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union,” it “would present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter.” Recently Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed when he said that such state resistance would “make federal enforcement of federal gun laws nearly impossible.”
In other words, this would have a huge impact on the ability of the federal government to enforce it’s unconstitutional gun control measures.
2. Grassroots activists should immediately start pressing local governments – county, city and town – to pass an ordinance which a) states an unwavering dedication to the new law passed, and b) requires all local law enforcement and all government assets to immediately cease in the enforcement of federal gun control measures. Doing so will ensure that the goal of the state law isn’t circumvented by local law enforcement. Since there has been serious opposition from both the Missouri police and sheriffs associations, local laws will provide another layer to make sure they stand down, as required.
3. Eric Holder will likely send a letter to threaten the state if it decides to enforce the penalty provisions of the act. He threatened Kansas recently, too. And he’s been threatening states that defy him on marijuana, but because they ignored his threats, he and his federal apparatus have had to back down.
4. Other states will gain the courage to follow the lead started by Kansas, and now Missouri – and pass similar laws, circling back to the strong effect this will have as described in point #1.
5. The federal government will likely sue, focusing primarily on the section that includes criminal charges for federal agents violating the state law. There isn’t a federal judge in the country that will limit federal power and uphold this part of the state law resisting the federal government. But that doesn’t mean it’s not part of an effective strategy. In the 1850′s, Northern States did the exact same thing to a positive effect when nullifying federal slavery laws. And, even if a federal court strikes this part of HB436 down, and Missouri follows that court’s opinion, the important noncompliance parts of the bill – as outlined above – will remain in tact.
LEGAL INFORMATION ON REFUSING TO ENFORCE
There is absolutely ZERO serious dispute about the fact that the federal government cannot “commandeer” the states to carry out its laws. None. Even the Supreme Court has affirmed this multiple times.
In the 1992 case, New York v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress couldn’t require states to enact specified waste disposal regulations.
In the 1997 case, Printz v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could not command state law enforcement authorities to conduct background checks on prospective handgun purchasers.
In the 2012 case, National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court ruled that a significant expansion of Medicaid was not a valid exercise of Congress’s spending power, as it would coerce states to either accept the expansion or risk losing existing Medicaid funding.
In each of these cases, the Supreme Court made is quite clear that their opinion is that the federal government cannot require the states to act, or even coerce them to act through a threat to lose funding. Their opinion is correct. If the feds pass a law, they can sure try to enforce it if they want. But the states absolutely do NOT have to help them in any way.