Editorial: New Missouri law hurting law enforcement

Editorial: New Missouri law hurting law enforcement

A new Missouri law will fine any state law enforcement agency that enforces federal gun laws. (Dreamstime/TNS) A radical new Missouri law declaring federal firearms restrictions unenforceable in the state isn’t even in effect yet, and already it’s hampering efforts to confront gun violence. The law, passed this year by state Republicans and set to go into effect Aug. 28, will fine any Missouri law enforcement agency that enforces federal gun laws. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that at least a dozen Missouri law enforcement officers have already pulled out of joint state-federal task forces regarding gun violence for fear of violating the new state statute. Several Missouri police agencies are planning to stop sharing ballistics evidence in a national database used to solve gun crimes. Is this really the legacy that the supposed party of law and order wants? The Second Amendment Preservation Act would impose $50,000 fines on any Missouri police agency whose officers knowingly enforce federal gun laws. If that sounds unconstitutional in a federal system of government, it is. The Civil War settled that question. But since when do Missouri’s legislative Republicans put the Constitution above their political imperative to pander to the nuttiest corners of the state’s gun culture? Gov. Mike Parson, a former sheriff, seems like the kind of person who would have paused before signing a law that would clearly make it more difficult to address the crisis-level gun violence currently ravaging St. Louis and other urban areas of the state. […]

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