Missouri police ask Republican legislators to amend measure blocking federal gun laws

Missouri police ask Republican legislators to amend measure blocking federal gun laws

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri law enforcement officials are asking the General Assembly to revise the state’s new Second Amendment act that prohibits them from helping enforce certain federal gun laws, telling lawmakers that it is hindering their ability to conduct criminal investigations. The law’s “wording and structure have caused confusion and potentially unintended legal implications,” the Missouri Police Chiefs Association (MCPA) wrote in an October letter to Republican legislative leaders and the bill’s sponsors. The Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA), which Republican Gov. Mike Parson signed in June, declares “invalid” many federal gun regulations that don’t have an equivalent in Missouri law. These include statutes covering weapons registration and tracking, and possession of firearms by some domestic violence offenders. Local departments are barred from enforcing them, or risk being sued for $50,000 by private citizens who believe their Second Amendment rights have been violated. Police are also prohibited from giving “material aid and support” to federal agents and prosecutors in enforcing those “invalid” laws on “law-abiding citizens” — defined as those who Missouri law permits to have a gun. In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Star, the MPCA proposes specifying that the law would only apply to new federal gun restrictions approved after this past August, and that it doesn’t apply to suspects whom police encounter committing a crime. It also proposes clarifying which weapons-related federal crimes local police are allowed to help enforce. The current law allows them to help enforce gun restrictions […]

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