DOJ asks court to block ‘plainly unconstitutional’ SAPA

DOJ asks court to block ‘plainly unconstitutional’ SAPA

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) asked a court to block a controversial gun rights law from going into effect, arguing it has already impeded drug and weapon investigations. The Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA), which Gov. Mike Parson signed into law in June, sought to declare federal laws that could restrict gun ownership among law-abiding Missourians as “invalid” in the state. It also said law enforcement cannot enforce federal firearm regulations that would be deemed invalid under this law, holding departments that do so liable for $50,000 in redress. St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page filed a lawsuit in Cole County Circuit Court in June seeking to block the law from going into effect. The DOJ filed a statement of interest Wednesday, stating the law was “invalid” under the federal Supremacy Clause. While the language included a severability clause allowing the bill as a whole to survive if parts are invalidated, the government argued the bill was invalid as a whole and decried potential negative effects on law enforcement across the state. “The state of Missouri lacks authority to nullify valid federal law, including the firearm regulations at issue here. Once the central premise upon which HB 85 stands is rejected — and federal firearm laws are recognized as valid — all remaining substantive provisions of HB 85 must also be rejected,” the statement said. “In sum, HB 85 has caused, and will continue to cause, significant harms to law enforcement within […]

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