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Jay Nixon Vetoes Bill To Block Federal Firearm Laws, Signs Another Expanding Gun Rights

rep-casey-guernsey-fb.jpeg
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Rep. Casey Guernsey, supporter of HB 436.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is not a fan of the "most hardcore Second Amendment bill" in the country, but he is a fan of gun rights!

Nixon, a Democrat, today vetoed one of the most high-profile Republican bills at the legislature this session -- a proposal to ban the enforcement of federal gun laws, which would likely lead to an expensive legal battle with the U.S. Attorney General. But included his announcement today was news that he is approving another firearms bill aimed at expanding the rights of gun owners in the state.

Nixon emphasizes that he is a gun owner and hunter who very much supports the Second Amendment.

See also:
- Dems Slam Bill to Loosen Weapon Storage Restrictions for State Employees' Cars
- Does Missouri Have "Most Extreme" States' Rights Push? Gun Law Ban Scrutinized
- Missouri's Gun Bills: Concealed-Carry Permits Easier to Get, Record-Keeping Banned

The bill he signed into law today is House Bill 533, a proposal that, among several expanded gun rights, allows a state employee to keep a firearm in his or her vehicle while on state property. The bill also allows a fire chief to carry a concealed firearm and "expresses the General Assembly's support of responsible gun ownership."

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via

"As a gun owner and hunter, I support the Second Amendment rights of Missourians and oppose efforts to undermine them," Nixon says in a statement. "That is why, as Governor, I have enacted legislation to expand gun rights, including bills to strengthen the Castle Doctrine and to allow more Missourians to carry concealed weapons. House Bill 533 is a sensible expansion of Missouri's already strong protections for gun owners."

During debate on HB 533, some Democrats criticized the proposal as an irresponsible loosening of gun storage laws.

The bill includes this symbolic language:

The general assembly of the state of Missouri strongly promotes responsible gun ownership, including parental supervision of minors in the proper use, storage, and ownership of all firearms, the prompt reporting of stolen firearms, and the proper enforcement of all state gun laws. The general assembly of the state of Missouri hereby condemns any unlawful transfer of firearms and the use of any firearm in any criminal or unlawful activity.

Meanwhile, House Bill 436, the so-called Second Amendment Preservation, is not a responsible expansion of gun rights in Missouri, Nixon says.

The bill would have directly violated the United States Constitution by nullifying federal gun policy and actually criminalizing the enforcement of certain laws. The bill also would have infringed upon the First Amendment, he says.

In addition to the aim of blocking federal gun control, the legislation also sought to curb the publishing of gun owners' names (after a New York newspaper made headlines when it published a database of local handgun permit holders).

"Under well-established legal precedent, state legislation such as House Bill 436 that seeks to resurrect the pre-Civil War concept of nullification would violate the Supremacy Clause," the governor's office says. "The bill also would have made it a crime for anyone to publish the name or other information of someone who owns a firearm."

Nixon says the included broad ban on this kind of speech could lead to bizarre acts of criminality on the part of journalists: "In fact, under this bill, newspaper editors around the state that annually publish photos of proud young Missourians who harvest their first turkey or deer could be charged with a crime."

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via
Governor Jay Nixon, right.

The legislation has gotten a fair amount of attention as one of the "most extreme" states' right initiatives in the country.

Republican lawmakers could try and override Nixon's veto on this.

The governor's press announcement includes a long list of Nixon's record on gun rights, noting that he signed legislation lowering the right-to-carry age for active duty military in Missouri. He also signed into law a "Castle Doctrine" bill that allows small business owners and farmers to use deadly force on intruders on property they own or lease.

In case there was any doubt, the governor's office even outlines his work as attorney general related to gun rights:

In 2008, then-Attorney General Nixon was among the first attorneys general in the nation to file a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to strike down the Washington, DC gun ban and adopt the position that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. He also defended Missouri's conceal carry law before the Missouri Supreme Court and obtained reciprocity agreements from other states to recognize Missouri's conceal carry permits, making Missouri's endorsement the most widely recognized in the nation.

Here's a copy of House Bill 533 and House Bill 436, along with Nixon's full veto statement.

HB 533

HB 436

HB 436 Veto

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.


My Voice Nation Help
31 comments
ArmedLiberalInMO
ArmedLiberalInMO

Ok, here's the rub.

436 is not doing anything but attacking laws passed at the Federal level that largely focus on expanding the Commerce Clause into the intrastate commerce area.  ANY good or service that will stay inside a state is outside the purview of the Federal Government.

Sophie A. Smith Zavaglia
Sophie A. Smith Zavaglia

About which part? The Supremacy Clause is undeniably in the Constitution (again, read it) and the Supreme Court has consistently ruled that the Supremacy Clause mandates that federal law trumps state law on the same subject. See Ableman v. Booth (1859) or Cooper v. Aaron (1958) if you don't believe me. State laws that attempt to nullify federal law on the same subject have been struck down since before the Civil War.

Neil Aimaro
Neil Aimaro

You are not 100% correct about that.

Neil Aimaro
Neil Aimaro

"Being a democrat"???? Don't you mean pretending to be a democrat?

sjjpsjjp
sjjpsjjp

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.  "Shall not be infringed" - hmmmm?  Would it also mean that to expand liberties in this matter be contrary to our Constitution as well?

By David B. Kopel and Stephen D'Andrilli (American Rifleman, February 1990)

In the right to bear arms debate, pro-gun Americans point to Switzerland, where almost every adult male is legally required to possess a gun. One of the few nations with a higher per capita rate of gun ownership than the United States, Switzerland has virtually no gun crime. Therefore, argue the pro-gunners, America doesn't need gun control.


Bill Hughes
Bill Hughes

Gun laws vary widely. In California, only the trigger-happy cops have them. You're worried? Why?

Jeff Willett
Jeff Willett

What does that have to do with Nixon being a Democrat, he didn't write the gun laws in effect here.

kingcobra5352
kingcobra5352

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding


All of you people that say "federal law trumps state law" are retards. Please point to the section of the constitution that gives authority to the federal government to make ANY gun law.

Sophie A. Smith Zavaglia
Sophie A. Smith Zavaglia

Um, hi. The Supremacy Clause is IN the Constitution. Article IV, Cl. 2 to be exact. Before you go proclaiming about what the Constitution says or doesn't say, it would be helpful to read it first.

Ethan D. Kemper
Ethan D. Kemper

I'm happy being free! GUNS GUNS GUNS give 'em all to me!

Alexander Wilson
Alexander Wilson

They won't be banning Federal Law in either event. Not while the Supremacy Clause is in effect.

Keith Siatkowski
Keith Siatkowski

So is the 2nd Amendment. However, the Federal gun laws trample all over it.

Keith Siatkowski
Keith Siatkowski

Yes, the Costitution is federal law. I am not sure why you would disagree with my statement. The 10th Amendment is clear and it is part of the Constitution.

Margaret Booker
Margaret Booker

Thanks Jay for doing the hard work during tough times!

Kenneth Lee M
Kenneth Lee M

Federal Law is law of the land - states can not contradict it. The Federal allows states to create laws were it hasn't (10th amendment) but the Supremacy Clause - clearly states that the states can not write a law that contradicts Federal law ... this is WHY we fought the Civil War

Kenneth Lee M
Kenneth Lee M

You can not read the Bill of Rights out of context ... it is an amendment not a loophole

Kenneth Lee M
Kenneth Lee M

yes Keith that goes hand in hand with the Supremacy Law it is not a contradiction. Essentially if the Federal hasn't written a law - each State is free to write it's own law. This is why non-Federal issues like driving ages or drinking ages vary from state to state but things like voting age do not

Kenneth Lee M
Kenneth Lee M

Sophie is right the Supremacy Clause is clear ... don't bother to google - I already posted it for you

Keith Siatkowski
Keith Siatkowski

Incorrect. The Constitution trumps federal law. I won't bother quoting the second amendment. However, you should familiarize yourself with the 10th. I already pasted its contents in this thread.

Neil Aimaro
Neil Aimaro

The only thing that is inaccurate about this story is when it calls Nixon a democrat. I have lived in more than a few states in my life and I have to say Missouri's gun laws are no where near tight. Hell within the first year of being here I had already accumulated two guns (that I got for free). I went to a gun show with a friend and two guys approached me in the parking lot asking me if I wanted to buy a gun on our way back to the car. Hell a friend of mine bought an AR-15 off a guy in a Denny's parking lot for 500$ If anything Missouri's gun laws need to be a little tighter in regards to sales and distribution. You should not be able to just sell a gun privately without legally being obligated to submit a background check for the person purchasing or receiving said firearm. That's just common sense. I'm not that worried about losing the second amendment. I'm worried about the other ones we have already lost.

Keith Siatkowski
Keith Siatkowski

It seems to me that if the Federal government decides to ignore the second amendment, then under the 10th Amendment Missouri has the right to block these gun laws. Obviously it is a moot point since the Governor used his veto. Hopefully the republicans will prevail.

Sophie A. Smith Zavaglia
Sophie A. Smith Zavaglia

This isn't an issue about what people think. It's also not subject to debate. The Supremacy Clause is clear. Federal law trumps state law on the same subject. End of story/debate/conversation.

Kenneth Lee M
Kenneth Lee M

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

Keith Siatkowski
Keith Siatkowski

Tenth amendment- The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Jesda Ulati
Jesda Ulati

Legally the courts wouldn't allow it, but a state can certainly push the limits of its authority.

Marc Seleman
Marc Seleman

You can't pick and choose. Either you feel the federal government has more rights than the states or vice versa.

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

@Sophie A. Smith Zavaglia , it is not nullifying the federal law. It is simply following the law of land. We now know States cannot enforce federal immigration laws, and the States cannot pass laws they support federal laws. Hence, it would be unconstitutional to allow federal laws to be enforced by the State.

kingcobra5352
kingcobra5352

@Sophie A. Smith Zavaglia

The supremacy clause states that any federal law in pursuance of the constitution is the law of the land. Now please point to me what section of the constitution federal guns laws fall under.

kingcobra5352
kingcobra5352

@Kenneth Lee M 

The supremacy clause states that any federal law in pursuance of the constitution is the law of the land. Now please point to me what section of the constitution federal guns laws fall under.

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