DOJ files lawsuit over Missouri Gun Law

Merrick Garland testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee

US Attorney General Merrick Garland

United States Attorney General Merrick Garland file a federal litigation against the State of Missouri on Wednesday, defying state aggression gun laws known as the “Second Amendment Preservation Act”. This federal lawsuit happened as a challenge the same law proceeding in Missouri state court.

The lawsuit, named Governor of Missouri Mike Parson (R) as defendant, seeking to win a battle between federal and state agencies on the subject of guns. While HB 85 sought to create a workaround for federal gun laws, Garland’s lawsuit now aims to remove that law on the grounds that Missouri exceeded its jurisdiction and undermined federal law enforcement. .

HB 85, ​​issued June 2021, contains the following passage:

State that all federal acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules, and regulations, whether past, present, or future, violate the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution states and Article I, Section 23 of the Constitution of Missouri must be invalid in this state, including provisions imposing taxes, fees, charges or stamps on these items as set forth in the bill; require registration or tracking of these items or their owners; prohibiting possession, possession, use or transfer of firearms; or order the confiscation of these items.

The law has a provision that allows citizens to sue local police for $50,000 for each incident in which an individual proves their right to carry a firearm has been violated and discourages local law enforcement from doing so. enforce federal gun regulations.

In one declareThe Biden administration explained the reasons for filing the lawsuit against HB 85, ​​citing the law’s conflict with the “fundamental constitutional principles of federal law supremacy, immunity, and immunity.” intergovernmental exception,” and its effect is “punishment.”[ing] current federal employees by barring them from working in the state if they intentionally enforce invalid laws. “

The 28-page complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, asserts that the law “discriminates solely against federal agencies and employees; undermine law enforcement efforts in Missouri; and is contrary to the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. Not only does it emphasize Missouri’s lack of authority to enact legislation that directly conflicts with federal statute, but it also focuses on the actual impact of HB 85, ​​which points to the statute’s interference with federal statute. federal and state task forces. “While a state may lawfully deny federal enforcement assistance,” allowing complaints, “a state may not directly govern federal jurisdiction.”

Garland’s complaint argues that Missouri’s statute is a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, which asserts that state law is invalid to the extent it conflicts with federal law. It also sparked the argument that Missouri had violated “intergovernmental immunity,” where Missouri’s statutes indicate adverse treatment by the federal government.

Specifically, the case regarding National Arms Act (“NFA”) and Gun Control Act (“GCA”) – two federal laws that regulate the licensing, transfer, and transportation of firearms – create direct conflict with HB 85.

Asking for a court order to block the Missouri law, the Biden administration argued:

Since its release, HB 85 has jeopardized public safety — and U.S. efforts to promote public safety — by fostering successful partnerships between enforcement agencies. Federal, state, and local laws play an important role in combating violent crime in Missouri.

The complaint is also based on statistics, which indicate that HB 85 “dramatically reduces the utility” of critical resources such as the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (“NIBIN”).

“Over the past three years, NIBIN has helped law enforcement officers in Missouri generate more than 6,000 leads, including 3,149 leads in jurisdictions outside of where the leads were sourced. granted,” the complaint provides in context. It continued, “Furthermore, from October 2019 to June 2021, NIBIN successfully identified approximately 200 suspects with links to firearms crimes in the State.”

The DOJ also addresses harm to individual law enforcement officers caused by the law.

“Prior to HB 85, ​​it was customary for federal employees involved in federal firearms law enforcement to seek and obtain employment in political subdivisions and/or law enforcement agencies in Missouri. relatively common. Now, however, those individuals are unlikely to be unemployed “just because of their previous lawful federal activity.”

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) said in a tweet that the incident was “a partisan lawsuit seeking to attack Missourians” #Second Amendment rights & end state crime-fighting tactics, including the Safer Streets Initiative. ”

Schmitt continued, declaring “the law is on our side” and promising, “we will beat Biden’s DOJ in court again.”

[image via Tasos Katopodis-Pool/Getty Images]

Is there a trick we should know? DOJ files lawsuit over Missouri Gun Law

James Brien

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