The Missouri legislature passed a bill that would essentially nullify any federal interference in the state’s gun laws. But Governor Jay Nixon vetoed the bill telling the legislature that they could not oppose the federal government (so much for the 10th Amendment, eh?).
Early in July the governor vetoed a bill that would have made it a state crime for federal officials to attempt to enforce federal gun laws. The bill also would have made it a crime for journalists and activists to publish the names and addresses of gun owners in the state.
Governor Nixon said that the law violated the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution giving the federal government preference over state laws. He also noted that the bill violated the freedom of the press and free speech.
The state legislature needs a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate to override the veto. Now it looks like they might have the numbers to do just that and with a bipartisan coalition, at that.
Missouri is a very pro-gun state and even Democrats are hard pressed to stray from the pro-gun line.
“We love our guns and we love hunting. It’s not worth the fight for me to vote against it,” Rep. T.J. McKenna, D-Festus told the Associated Press. But, he added, “the bill is completely unconstitutional, so the courts are going to have to throw it out.”
The legislation would make it a misdemeanor for federal agents to attempt to enforce any federal gun regulations that “infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms.” The same criminal charges would apply to journalists who publish any identifying information about gun owners. The charge would be punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Missouri will have to wait until the new week begins to find out if pro-gun legislators have the numbers to beat the governor’s veto.
Rep. McKenna is likely right about a court fight if the law is passed over the governor’s veto. There certainly are questions of just how far a state can go to nullify federal actions.
Many states across the country are making moves like this, challenging the federal government on its arrogance, though. It is a 10th Amendment issue, for sure. Do the states have the power to make laws outside of those areas where the federal government has enumerated powers… or not? That is where we are, America.
But the fact is, if the federal government hadn’t been stealing power away from the states for the last 50 years (or more), this 10th Amendment movement wouldn’t have started in the first place. These 10th Amendment issues didn’t come up because of crazy, out-of-the-mainstream conservatives feeling their oats. This is a reaction to federal overreach of long standing, not some sot of political trick from the right.
More of this will be happening in reaction to the continued un-American overreach by Obama and his crew.