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Missouri Senate Approves Bill That Criminalizes Federal Gun Laws

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Flickr/Michael Glasgow
The controversial Second Amendment Protection Act has cleared the first legislative hurdle to becoming Missouri law.

Sponsored by Republican State Senator Brian Nieves, the bill, SB 613, would nullify federal gun laws and treat federal agents enforcing those laws as criminals. Yesterday, the Missouri Senate approved the bill, 23-10.

SB 613 is moving to the House, where last year a similar bill, HB 436, was resoundingly approved with a vote of 109-49.

See also: New Gun Bill: State Lawmakers Try Again To Nullify Federal Firearms Laws

In 2013, pro-gun legislation produced charged debate over the legal merits of nullifying federal law. Opponents of the tactic, like Democrat Stacy Newman, argued that the tactic conflicts with numerous and established legal precedents.

This year, however, the Senate vote was nearly derailed by the NRA. The powerful lobbying group declared opposition last week to a Democrat-sponsored regulatory amendment. Republican Senators dutifully voted to remove it from the overall bill on Monday.

Ray Downs

Of course, Nieves' bill didn't make it out of the Senate completely unchanged; A handful of other amendments were quietly stitched into the final revision before yesterday's vote.

Interestingly, one of those amendments actually closes a loophole that might have helped block federal gun laws in Missouri if parts of SB 613 were to be struck down in court as unconstitutional.

Sponsored by Democratic Senator Scott Sifton, the amendment makes the core provisions of SB 613 "nonseverable" -- meaning that if a court finds a portion of the bill invalid, then all the other major provisions of the bill are invalid as well.

Normally, the Missouri Revised Statutes would treat individual provisions within a bill like SB 613 as severable, allowing a court to simply remove bad provisions and leave the legal ones intact.

Earlier this week, Daily RFT interviewed states' rights advocate Mike Muharrey, national communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center. He suggested that the severable nature of legislation can work as a loophole if big parts of a bill are defeated in court.

Muharrey theorized that even if the criminal enforcement against federal gun laws failed to clear a judge, the most "significant aspect" of SB 613 could sneak by, namely the provision prohibiting Missouri resources from being used to enforce federal laws.

If Sifton's amendment can survive the Missouri House of Representatives, and if the larger bill somehow makes it past Govenor Jay Nixon's veto, the 2014 Second Amendment Preservation Act will face a judge's scrutiny as a take-it-or-leave-it package.

Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com



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71 comments
Tom Hubbard
Tom Hubbard

Damn Mike...nothing like firing up a bunch of people on a nice Saturday morning!

John Evans
John Evans

Of for fuck's sake. Nullification died with the Confederacy. Your side lost the Civil War. Get the fuck over it!

Jordan Troy
Jordan Troy

^^ Anyone CAN pick up a gun. Just not legally. That's the problem. If you'd like to keep your data mining effective, excess gun regulation isn't helping your cause.

Jamie Van
Jamie Van

Jesus Christ, people! gun regulation does NOT mean they're going to take away your precious guns! It means keeping track of who buys them. I for one, don't want JUST ANYONE to be able to pick up a gun. Relax, Joe Bob, your guns are safe under your pillow!

Mark Bland
Mark Bland

Federal Laws no matter what, will always trump the state laws. Believe what you want. The enforcement lies in what the perception that is upheld. So if the majority agree that Federal laws are more powerful, then they will maintain their stature. Or else, in this case, Ruby Ridge will happen at some point cause some idiot will get overzealous and think they can take these state mandates to the grave with them...and literally, they will take them to their grave with them.

Jeff Willett
Jeff Willett

Totally waste of taxpayer's dollars, totally idiotic.

Joseph Poor
Joseph Poor

You kinda of sound like a drunken, rambling Ron Paul...Basically you have a bunch of problems, but no solutions, you hide behind The Constitution, but I am willing to bet you've never truly read it or that you honestly understand it. Keep voting third party though, that'll show us.

Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks

Oh no Jim I have a problem with every single one of those those are signs of a corrupt government infringing upon the people's rights I never liked bush I never liked anyone with Republican before them or Democrat before them I like them because of their politics and the honesty and their ability to follow our Constitution and amendments Bush was just as bad as Obama

Jim Phillips
Jim Phillips

Ben Hicks, just curious, what did you think about the Patriot Act? FISA? Warrantless phone taps? The suspension of habeous corpus by Bush? People on the right don't seem to have any problems with that. I lean left, and these things piss me off.

Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks

Well go look up the facts for yourself then

Joseph Poor
Joseph Poor

You are trying to tell me that a "news" story from a site called "MrConservative" is a believable source?

Kenneth Lee M
Kenneth Lee M

the State can not rule Federal law null and void ... last that tried lost the Civil War

Kenneth Lee M
Kenneth Lee M

for the Bible-thumping, god-fearing (allegedly) Constitution-loving Reputards ... perhaps you missed a BIG CLEAR SECTION of the Constitution .... were I quote "Article VI, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution is known as the Supremacy Clause because it provides that the "Constitution, and the Laws of the United States … shall be the supreme Law of the Land." It means that the federal government, in exercising any of the powers enumerated in the Constitution, must prevail over any conflicting or inconsistent state exercise of power." this IS the legal definition of the Supremecy Clause .... you don't like it? Then you don't like the Constitution and you can go ahead and LEAVE!

Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks

I bash and go after corrupt government no matter their party affiliation.

Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks

Leftist find everything difficult to believe unless its your agenda. Especially when they're bashing conservatives all over their facebook page

Bruce Mayhew
Bruce Mayhew

why do lawmakers insist on wasting their time and our money on such stupid legislation?

Joseph Poor
Joseph Poor

I read it, I find the source to be difficult to believe, while there may be some truth to it, most partisan news outlets (on either side) have a certain amount of spin and tend to exaggerate events that might be grounded in truth, but are a bit suspect.

Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks

The California confiscation now has spread to misdemeanors and anyone who has taken a mind altering drug which can be a very vague statement that could include you taking painkillers after a surgery or procedure or any kind of antidepressant which they commonly prescribe to people who are trying to quit smoking.. So you see it's not just felons

Joseph Poor
Joseph Poor

All of my firearms have been obtained through licensed dealers, I have a license to carry (although I rarely do), I see nothing wrong with legislation to make it more difficult to buy a firearm.

Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks

I am more liberatarian/constitutionalist

Joseph Poor
Joseph Poor

So they are taking guns away from those that shouldn't legally be able to own them? This sounds like a good thing to me.

Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks

I see you have it wrong you have me pegged as a Republican I don't give a crap who's in office.. infringing upon my rights I dont care if you have a D before your name or an R you are an enemy of mine and this country.

Joseph Poor
Joseph Poor

You have one example Mr Hicks, but let me ask you a question; Who was president during Katrina? The governments response to that storm was an unmitigated disaster, mistakes were made at all levels.

Jeremy J Whaley
Jeremy J Whaley

The more time that goes by, the more I am glad I left St. Louis.

Joseph Poor
Joseph Poor

Our justice system is one the most ham-handed on the planet with Florida being the crown jewel. I think legislation like this is a waste of time and is fear mongering. The idea that some jackbooted gmen are gonna show up at our doors and confiscate our weapons is ridiculousness of the highest order. I think because they are dangerous firearms need to be regulated and they should be more difficult to get, were they more difficult to obtain the chance of them falling into the wrong hands would be decreased.

Responsibly Armed
Responsibly Armed

No worries. I'm not the type to start the name calling. You have your opinion, and I respect other's opinion. I agree that the current laws should be enforced, but the truth is, while laws may, at street level, be enforced, our justice system is a joke. I believe in extremely stiff penalties for people convicted of violent offenses (10-20+ year mandatory sentences). Too many violent offenders are released too soon and commit the same crimes over an over again.

chizdippler
chizdippler

White trash hillbillies. This crap is embarrassing.

Joseph Poor
Joseph Poor

So your rationale is that people should have firearms in case they perceive the government as tyrannical? Who makes this determination? How do you think your small arms would fare in the face of an Abrams Tank or an F16 or a Predator Drone? Your argument is nonsensical, and the idea that the government is trying to take our guns away is ludicrous at best.

Tim Jensen
Tim Jensen

Ahhh....but the government has no authority except that which is granted by the people. It should be noted that our newly formed government did not grant the people the right to keep and bear arms. No....That right PRECEDED the formation of our fledgling government. Our founding fathers recognized the importance of independence and autonomy to a free people. A people that already had a strong sense of freedom and independence and their privately owned guns they used to hack a nation from the wilderness. What do you think the chances are that a new government could be formed from the very people they were planning to disarm? No. The right to keep and bear arms preceded the constitution, and maintaining that right was critical to maintain the trust of the citizenry necessary to form the new government. Remember; every tyranny in the world begins with the disarmament of the people. Our new government merely recognized the people's existing right to keep and bear arms and further noted that right SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

Darla Cook
Darla Cook

Thanks legislator for the utter waste of time! You don't think we have a lot more pressing issues that need addressing? So you have all this free time to spend on nonsense? I think we shouldn't pay you!

Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks

So I guess defending your life and your loved ones lives is not a God given right?

Thee Lovingcup
Thee Lovingcup

Interesting phrase, it's like saying your dick is big among gun people: In America, both the original Greek phrase and its English translation are often heard from pro-Second Amendment activists as a defense of the right to keep and bear arms. It began to appear on web sites in the late 1990s and early 2000s.In the Second Amendment or firearms freedom context, the phrase expresses the notion that the person uttering the phrase is a strong believer in these ideals and will not surrender their firearms to anyone, including governmental authority

Joseph Poor
Joseph Poor

Were the federal government inclined to enforce federal law with regard to marijuana they certainly could do so, but they are finally wising up on this, but your argument is flawed in that marijuana doesn't kill people, guns do, thus they should be regulated and laws pertaining to them should/will be enforced. And before you start calling me a anti-gun libtard, I have a ccw, and several firearms. I enjoy shooting and am a staunch believer in the second amendment. This is a waste of legislative time and should be viewed by all as such.

Zac Miller
Zac Miller

Missouri Senate Approves Bill That Protects Law Abiding Citizens From Unconstitutional Federal Gun Laws

Mike Hackmeister
Mike Hackmeister

Hey look! Here's a fellow quoting portions of the Constitution in order to demonize those advocating State powers (nullification principles) to keep the Feds from trampling that very same Constitution! Snarf!

Responsibly Armed
Responsibly Armed

10th Amendment ever heard of it? Also, on the note of "Supremacy Clause," why doesn't anyone scream that argument over legalizing marijuana? There are still federal laws banning that too.

Joseph Poor
Joseph Poor

Supremacy Clause? Are y'all familiar with it? This same bill was vetoed with prejudice by Nixon last year, all you people applauding this obvious pandering to right wing extremists are really applauding a waste of legislative time and taxpayer dollars. Get a clue.

stoney.browning
stoney.browning

Sure!  How about the New Orleans gun grab!  Right after Katrina!  All the cops had to do was check the registration records, and round them up!

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

aka paranoid retard

stoney.browning
stoney.browning

Really?  What if the First Amendment was treated like The Second!  Before you can speak, you have to go to the local police and get a permit to see if you have something worthwhile to say!


Or before you can worship whatever deity you find relevant, you have to obtain a permit from the police  to do so!  I guess then you will start your sheep-like bleating about your lost rights!  Only then, you'll find out they've been taken away!

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

Defending them from who? Criminals or the big bad federal gubbermint? Riddle me that you unhinged motherfucker.

stoney.browning
stoney.browning

A Smith and Wesson model 626 .44 Magnum!  Just like mine!  Except his doesn't have a muzzle brake!

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