DOJ intervenes in lawsuit against Missouri state law attempting to invalidate federal gun regulations

DOJ intervenes in lawsuit against Missouri state law attempting to invalidate federal gun regulations

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday filed a 28-page statement of interest in a lawsuit filed by the city of St. Louis challenging a Missouri state law that prohibits enforcement of federal firearms laws and subjects state and local law enforcement officers to civil suits and monetary penalties. Missouri House Bill No. 85 (“HB85”), also known as the Second Amendment Preservation Act, was signed into law in June by Governor Mike Parsons in an act of defiance against the federal government. HB85 circumvents federal gun regulations, carrying a fine of $50,000 for each police officer that attempts to enforce such rules. The bill’s vague language also indicates that any communications between local law enforcement and federal agents about a weapon could be a fineable offense. The city and county of St. Louis filed suit in June seeking an injunction against the enforcement of the law and argued that it should be overturned because it violates the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution. The DOJ, noting its strong interest in the injunction, filed said statement of interest “to preserve ongoing federal, state, and local law enforcement efforts.” The DOJ’s statement of interest challenged HB85’s enforcement on two basic grounds. First, the DOJ noted that HB85 undermines law enforcement efforts to promote public safety in Missouri and adversely impacts partnerships that federal agencies have developed with state and local authorities. Toward this end, the DOJ referred to an attached declaration from Frederic D. Winston, Special Agent in Charge of […]

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