The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against the state of Missouri over a bill aimed at protecting the Second Amendment.
Missouri House Bill 8, which is known as the Second Amendment Preservation Act, invalidates some federal firearm laws in the state.
In the complaint, filed on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, the Justice Department claimed that state governments are prohibited from passing bills that interfere with federal laws. It states that “restrictions imposed by H.B. 85 have hindered cooperation and other activities that assist federal, state, and local law enforcement efforts.” It also claims that federal law enforcement agencies “report that enforcement of federal firearms laws in Missouri has grown more difficult since H.B. 85 became effective,” according to a report from Fox News.
The Second Amendment Preservation Act was signed into law last June and “prohibits state and local cooperation with federal officials that attempt to enforce any laws, rules, orders, or actions that violate the Second Amendment rights of Missourians,” according to a statement released by Gov. Mike Parson’s office at the time.
“Throughout my law enforcement career and now as Governor of the state of Missouri, I have and always will stand for the Constitution and our Second Amendment rights,” Governor Parson said. “This legislation today draws a line in the sand and demonstrates our commitment to reject any attempt by the federal government to circumvent the fundamental right Missourians have to keep and bear arms to protect themselves and their property.”
“HB 85 puts those in Washington D.C. on notice that here in Missouri we support responsible, law-abiding gun owners, and that we oppose government overreach and any unlawful efforts to limit our access to firearms,” Governor Parson added.
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland has argued that the law impedes federal law enforcement efforts in the state.
“This act impedes criminal law enforcement operations in Missouri,” Garland said in a statement. “The United States will work to ensure that our state and local law enforcement partners are not penalized for doing their jobs to keep our communities safe.”
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has asserted that the complaint is a “partisan lawsuit” brought on by the Biden administration that “seeks to attack Missourians’ Second Amendment rights.”
“Unfortunately, the Biden DOJ has used this lawsuit as a pretext for them to pull the plug on our successful and innovative federal-state crime-fighting partnership, the Safer Streets Initiative,” Schmitt said in a statement. “Since I launched the Safer Streets Initiative in 2019, we’ve filed over 650 charges against nearly 390 defendants with a conviction rate of roughly 98%. My Office has fought to continue the initiative, but this initiative has been suspended solely because of the Biden Administration’s actions.”
Schmitt went on to allege that the administration has “put partisan politics ahead of public safety.”
“Make no mistake, the law is on our side in this case, and I intend to beat the Biden Administration in court once again,” he added.