© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Missouri Law Enforcement No Longer Required To Enforce Federal Gun Laws

Gov. Mike Parson celebrates signing HB 85 which invalidates federal gun laws in Missouri. He signed the bill in front of a crowd at Frontier Justice in Lee's Summit on Saturday.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
Gov. Mike Parson celebrates signing House Bill 85, which invalidates federal gun laws in Missouri. He signed the bill in front of a crowd at Frontier Justice, a Lee's Summit gun shop and shooting range, on Saturday.

Gov. Mike Parson signed legislation Saturday that invalidates federal gun laws in Missouri.

Missouri law enforcement officials no longer have to execute federal gun laws.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill Saturday that declares all federal gun laws past, present and future must be invalid in the state.This includes taxing, tracking and registration of weapons.

The bill is called the “Second Amendment Preservation Act.”

He signed the bill in front of a large crowd inside Frontier Justice, a gun store and shooting range in Lee’s Summit.

Parson, a former sheriff, said the purpose of this legislation is to stand up to the federal government.

“We’re going to do things to make sure you don’t overreach your authority from the federal government,” he said, while seated at a desk in front of a large display of firearms.

The bill would bar local police from assisting federal agents in enforcing federal laws. And it allows for a $50,000 lawsuit against anyone who knowingly acts under any federal or state law to deprive a Missouri citizen of their Second Amendment rights.

Response to the signing was swift Saturday.

The Missouri chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action immediately released a statement condemning the bill.

“We are frustrated and disappointed that Governor Parson signed a dangerous bill into law today that ties the hands of law enforcement officers while Missouri is facing one of the worst gun violence epidemics in the country,” said retired Sheriff Rick Walter, a volunteer with the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action.

Missouri House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, a Democrat from Springfield, called the bill a “radical, dangerous and obviously unconstitutional attempt to declare that Missouri will refuse to follow federal gun laws.”

According to the Giffords Law Center, 20 out of every 100,000 people in Missouri die from gun violence. The average gun death rate in the country is 12 per 100,000. And Missouri ranks among the 10 worst states for gun deaths, according to the Giffords Law Center.

“When people are looking for real solutions on crime, policing and public safety, Governor Parson and the Republican legislature have instead chosen to preserve Missouri’s growing reputation for extremist and dangerous laws,” Quade said in a statement.

The Republican sponsor of the bill, Jered Taylor of Christian County, called it the strongest Second Amendment bill in the country. He said the bill was in response to federal overreach and likened the bill to how other states get around federal laws.

“The feds use us,” he said. “They rely on us to enforce their laws. Look at medical marijuana in the state of Missouri — this is exactly what we do with that. It’s exactly what sanctuary cities use.”

Parson signed the bill in front of a crowd of supporters and was backed by several legislators who had a hand in crafting the bill and moving it through the legislature.

As KCUR’s general assignment reporter and visual journalist, I bring our audience inside the daily stories that matter most to the people of the Kansas City metro, showing how and why events affect residents. Through my photography, I seek to ensure our diverse community sees itself represented in our coverage. Email me at carlos@kcur.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.