Fed judge strikes down as unconstitutional Missouri's Second Amendment Preservation Act

 March 8, 2023

A federal judge just struck down as unconstitutional the state of Missouri's Second Amendment Preservation Act that was passed into law in 2021, the Daily Caller reported.

That law prohibited state and local law enforcement officials from actively aiding or cooperating with the enforcement of any federal gun control laws that did not have similar analogs at the state level and allowed for civil lawsuits for up to $50,000 to be filed against any organization employing personnel who provide such prohibited aid and cooperation.

Act ruled "invalid, null, void, and of no effect"

In Feb. 2022, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Missouri's Second Amendment Preservation Act, also known as H.B. 85, and that lawsuit just received a favorable ruling from U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes.

The Biden administration argued that the state law violated the U.S. Constitution's Supremacy Clause, that it was preempted by federal laws, and that it violated the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity.

They further complained that the state law had prompted state and local law enforcement officials to cease cooperative efforts on the enforcement of federal firearms laws, withdraw from various joint task forces, and stop sharing certain critical data, all of which harmed and hindered its own efforts to enforce federal laws.

In the conclusion of his 24-page opinion, Judge Wimes wrote that "SAPA is invalidated as unconstitutional in its entirety as violative of the Supremacy Clause. H.B. 85 is invalid, null, void, and of no effect."

"State and local law enforcement officials in Missouri may lawfully participate in joint federal task forces, assist in the investigation and enforcement of federal firearm crimes, and fully share information with the Federal Government without fear of H.B. 85’s penalties," he added. "The State of Missouri and its officers, agents, and employees and any others in active concert with such individuals are prohibited from any and all implementation and enforcement of H.B. 85."

Sanctuary from federal immigration laws, but not federal firearms laws?

According to the Gun Owners of America organization, Missouri is one of 16 states that have some variation of a Second Amendment Preservation Act law in effect, though some laws are tougher than others, some have only limited applicability, and one was just a proclamation from a governor not backed by any binding legislation.

Missouri's SAPA, along with that of Idaho, is considered to be the "gold" standard of such laws by GOA in that it actually contains criminal or civil penalties for state actors who violate the prohibition against helping the federal government enforce federal laws that have been determined by the state legislatures to be "infringements" of the Second Amendment and state constitution-protected right of citizens to keep and bear arms.

Interestingly enough, left unmentioned in all of this is the underlying fact that the arguments raised by the federal government and agreed to by the federal judge can be easily applied to the many Democrat-run "sanctuary jurisdictions" for illegal aliens -- be they states, counties, or cities -- where local officials are similarly prohibited from aiding or cooperating with the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Missouri AG vows to appeal ruling

The Associated Press reported that Missouri's Republican Attorney General Andrew Bailey stated that he would appeal the disfavorable ruling from the federal district judge.

"As Attorney General, I will protect the Constitution, which includes defending Missourians’ fundamental right to bear arms," he said in a statement. "We are prepared to defend this statute to the highest court, and we anticipate a better result at the Eighth Circuit."

Also weighing in on the ruling was Rep. Eric Burlison (R-MO), who as a state senator had backed the SAPA, and he said, "As the sponsor of the Second Amendment Preservation Act, I am disappointed but not surprised by the decision from an Obama-appointed, district court judge to unilaterally strike down a pro-Second Amendment law."

"The State of Missouri, not a federal judge, should determine how it spends its resources. That’s what SAPA does," the congressman added. "I fully support Attorney General Bailey’s announcement to appeal this decision. I will continue to fight to protect Americans’ constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, just like I did in the Missouri State Legislature."

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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