Stacey Newman on Missouri GOP Gun Bill: "Could you imagine anything crazier?"

Stacey Newman image.jpg
Representative Stacey Newman
Gun debates are alive and well in Missouri and Representative Stacey Newman, a Democrat, is currently promoting her bill that would require all sales or transfers of firearms to go through a licensed dealer.

She is also, however, speaking out about some Republican proposals that are directly in opposition to the president's efforts and have put Missouri in the spotlight.

In short, she tells Daily RFT, "It's so nuts. It's so crazy."

What's so absurd about the GOP idea?

See Also:
- Roy Blunt on Gun Control Bill: "Big Step Away From The Second Amendment"
- Maria Chappelle-Nadal: Parents Must Notify Schools If They Own Firearms

As Newman is pushing for stricter background checks in the state -- a legislative idea that mirrors one of the priorities of President Obama's gun control proposal -- some Republican lawmakers here have been advocating for legislation that would essentially allow Missouri to ignore federal policies that hey don't like.

The initiative, which has gotten a great deal of attention, is House Bill 170 from Republican Representative Casey Guernsey, with cosponsorship from Rep. Paul Curtman.

The bill:

Specifies that a federal official must not enforce a federal firearm law when the firearm is manufactured and remains in the state and that any new federal law banning or restricting ownership of a semi-automatic firearm is unenforceable.

As the debate on the national level continues, it is unclear what this state law here could accomplish if passed and how it would relate to the specifics of any federal changes. (Daily RFT left a message for Guernsey this morning).

Casey Guernsey, Facebook.jpeg
via Facebook
Rep. Casey Guernsey

Supporters of stricter gun control argue that they are just trying to put in place commonsense policies that do not conflict with Second Amendment rights, but do make it more difficult for criminals to access guns.

But gun advocates, who have been vocal in Missouri, are pushing back with these kinds of proposals -- arguing that they are not willing to compromise on the fundamental right to bear arms.

"Could you imagine anything crazier?" Newman tells Daily RFT, in reference to the GOP bill to bypass any new federal laws that involve bans or restrictions. "That's a bill that they think is actually gonna fly?... All you are doing is keeping trial lawyers in practice."

Newman argues that Missouri could not simply criminalize the enforcement of federal policies.

Meanwhile, she says she is hopeful about the prospects of her bill, which would stop individuals from purchasing guns without background checks -- an effort that she and supporters argue would reduce the risk of weapons getting into the hands of the wrong people.

"Right now there is a loophole in the background checks. Only licensed dealers are required to submit paper work," says Newman, pointing out that around 40 percent of sales across the country don't go through these checks. "And the internet has become a place for people to purchase [guns]."

Continue for more details on Stacey Newman's bill and full drafts of both pieces of legislation.

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Brendan Fowler
Brendan Fowler

I can't believe people that work in our government don't know Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution.

Likesta Comment
Likesta Comment

Remember when militias were rightfully thought of as terrorists after Oklahoma City bombing?

Chris Ferguson
Chris Ferguson

No, I can't imagine anything crazier than the Federal Gun control policy.

Likesta Comment
Likesta Comment

The Missouri GOP is as extreme as it gets. Anyone who has compromised or said anything moderate has been "primaried" or voted out. The Missouri GOP actually thinks they are doing constructive work LOL


Ms. Newman must not be aware of what Art 1 Sec 23 of the Missouri Constitution, which she took an oath to uphold, says. This bill essentially just puts penalty provisions in place for those that choose to violate the Rights of Missouri Citizens. If Ms. Newman were to understand the US Constitution, she would be aware that the Sheriff is the CLEO (Chief Law Enforcement Officer) in each County, and as such, all Federal Action must be co-ordinated through him/her. The Sheriff has taken an oath to uphold the Missouri and US Constitutions, so in living up to that oath, would be forced to resist any such Federal action as it violates Mo Const Art 1 Sec 23. Not sure what she finds so "crazy" about penalty provisions for Constitutional Law already in place. This really is nothing new.

As for the "Universal Background Check" this is not a loop hole. It is intentional. The Federal Government has little power when it comes to private contracts between individuals. There are already laws in place which govern transferring a firearm to a prohibited person. Requiring a Federal NICs check for private party sales would A) Swamp the NICS service, and B) Require that all such transactions go through an FFL, who usually charges a $30-$35 fee for transfer. Requiring government oversight for the private party transfer of a lawful item opens up a Pandora's box of oversight and questions of authority as it is clearly not linked to interstate commerce if within the same state. Cross State transfers are already illegal depending on the state and whether the firearm is a Long Gun, Shotgun, or Handgun. 

JJ O'Brand
JJ O'Brand

Not really a debate, show me St.L's well regulated miltia, then lets chat.....


Representative Newman's opinion is based on the falacy that her legislation and the GOP legislation are mutually exclusive.  They are not.  Her legislation requiring universal background checks is just as sane as GOP legislation emphasizing state's and people's rights under the 10th amendment (...powers reserved by the states).  States potentially do have rights to legislate unenforcement of laws deemed unenforceable and that are in violation of the US consitution.  That said as a serious gun owner I support her legislation on universal background checks because as a responsible gun owner I have submitted myself to the background check process dozens of times and do not consider it a bridge too far for gun owners to compromise on.  I also believe that the NICS system works effectively as evidenced by the inability of Adam Lanza to purchase a firearm last year and by the 77,000 NICS denials handed down in 2012.  Gun owners should be willing to compromise on this issue...we already go through it everytime we buy a gun and it gives us the high ground in the debate.


Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.  The same thing has been happening with Dems in Missouri and across the country.  Moderates of all kinds are being squeezed to the margins thanks to excess hyperbole like yours.


@hay I'm an avid firearm enthusiast, and a CCW holder. I've sold many, many firearms. It's always felt a little bit off when I've done a private sale of a firearm and a NICS check wasn't required. I don't see why this is such a big deal.

1) If the service gets swamped, they need to put more support into the service

2) If you can't afford the $30-35 fee that is charged, tack it onto the sale price of the firearm. Seriously... This isn't a big deal.

And government oversight of private contracts? This isn't government oversight of the sale. It's simply a background check to make sure the guy that you met through GunBroker isn't a felon or someone who is not eligible to own/purchase a firearm. Outside of that the government is completely unaware of your private contract.

1) They don't know that you're selling a firearm

2) They don't even know what sort of a firearm is being sold. They just know the background of a potential buyer.

3) They don't even know if the sale was made.

Have you ever sold a car to someone other than a dealer? The government is more involved in that than they would be with a NICS check on a potential firearm buyer.

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