How Missouri’s Absurd New Gun Law Hurts Police Departments and Shooting Victims

“They talk so much about the rights of gun owners, as if non-gun owners and the rest of the population have no right to feel safe,” one resident said. Julie Smith/The Jefferson City News-Tribune via AP File Judy Sherry, a longtime Kansas City advocate against gun violence, founded a volunteer organization to mobilize legislative efforts in Missouri after the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. Since then, she woefully admits, “nothing meaningful” has changed on the gun reform front in her state. On the contrary, in June, her Republican governor, Mike Parson, passed a new law supposedly meant to protect Second Amendment enthusiasts from “government overreach.” But advocates like Sherry and even law enforcement officials—who normally support gun rights—believe it is a dangerous nod to Parson’s right-wing base. The Second Amendment Protection Act bars state and local police from working with the feds to enforce any laws, rules, orders or actions that “violate the Second Amendment rights of Missourians.” Any officer who “deprives” Missouri citizens of their right to pack a gun could be liable for $50,000 in damages—including cops. Although it doesn’t go into effect until the end of August, advocates, local police and federal officials have said it’s already hurting shooting investigations in a state where they are rampant. “It’s hideous,” Sherry said of the law. “They talk so much about the rights of gun owners, as if non-gun owners and the rest of the population have no right to feel safe.” Although Parson promised that the ability […]

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