Biden administration tells court Missouri gun law undermines public safety

The Biden Justice Department on Wednesday asked a court to block a Missouri law that declares certain federal gun laws invalid and threatens financial penalties on state and local agencies that enforce them, arguing the measure violated the Constitution and undermined public safety. In a statement of interest filed in an ongoing lawsuit against the Missouri law in the Circuit Court of Cole County, Justice Department lawyers argued that the bill signed by the governor in June was “legally invalid” and undermined law enforcement activities in the state. A dozen local officers withdrew from participating in Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives task forces at least in part because of the law, an ATF official asserted in an affidavit , and several state and local law enforcement agencies indicated they would no longer input data into a national system that helps investigators match ballistics evidence with crimes across the nation. “In sum, HB85 has caused, and will continue to cause, significant harms to law enforcement within the State of Missouri,” the Justice Department argued, using the number of the bill. The law at issue — known as the Second Amendment Preservation Act — takes aim broadly at federal laws and regulations having to do with taxes, registration and transfer of firearms. It threatens $50,000 fines for local jurisdictions or governments that enforce the provisions at issue, which it declares to be “infringements on the people’s right to keep and bear arms.” It was sponsored by Republican state Rep. […]

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