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Saturday, March 2, 2024 | Back issues
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Missouri Legislature Would Unleash Guns

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) - The Missouri House overwhelmingly passed a measure that would allow residents to sue federal agents for enforcing gun laws.

The Second Amendment Preservation Act, designed to nullify federal gun laws - including any not passed yet - passed by a vote of 110-41 Thursday. The law would allow concealed-carry permit holders to carry firearms openly, even in municipalities with ordinances banning the act; would lower the minimum concealed carry permit age from 21 to 19; and would allow schools to designate school protection officers to carry guns.

The Missouri Senate previously approved its own version of the bill. Both Republican-led chambers will need to approve an identical version to send it to Gov. Jay Nixon.

Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed a similar measure last year. He is expected to veto this bill as well.

Proponents claim the bill protects gun owners' rights.

"This is what our Founding Fathers intent was [with the Second Amendment] and this is how we push back on a federal government that is running out of control," bill sponsor Rep. Doug Funderburk, R-St. Peters, said on the House floor.

Opponents call it a legislative reward for gun lobbyists.

Rep. Stacey Newman, D-Richmond Heights, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the bill lets criminals walk free while offering no recourse to victims of gun violence.

Opponents also say the law will be challenged in court. Traditionally, courts have ruled that state laws cannot trump federal laws.

"You know this bill is illegal, you know it's unconstitutional, you know it's going straight to court," Newman told the Post-Dispatch. "It's one more jobs bill for attorneys."

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