Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- -In 2019, Missouri Senator Eric Burlison, Representative Jered Taylor, and representative Jeff Pogue have introduced versions of the Second Amendment Protection Act or SAPA. Here is a link to SB 367 introduced by Senator Burlison.
The bill uses several legal and Constitutional strategies to protect Second Amendment rights from infringement by both the Federal government and various Missouri governments.
The principle Constitutional strategy is the anti-commandeering doctrine, which has been well established in Constitutional law and in the Supreme Court cases of New York v. United States (1992, decided 6-3) and Printz v. United States (1997) and Independent Business v. Sebelous (2012).
These cases validate the doctrine that the Federal government has no power to force state agencies or officers to do what the Federal government orders them to do. The Federal government can require actions for the state to receive funds from the Federal government, but that is all.
Legislatively, the bill would protect Second Amendment rights by refusing to allow any state officers to enforce any Federal laws considered infringements on Second Amendment rights by the definitions of the bill. Those include any taxes, stamps, or fees exclusively applied to firearms, accessories, or ammunition. It applies to any registration or tracking of those items.
No person would have the authority, under the State of Missouri, to enforce those measures.
The proposed bill has teeth.
Anyone who deprives a citizen of Missouri of Second Amendment rights under color of law would be subject to lawsuit or other redresses. Sovereign, official or qualified immunity would not apply. State officers who violate the law would be ineligible for employment by the state in any law enforcement or law enforcement supervisory capacity, or by any political subdivision of the state.
This is a very tough, very comprehensive bill.
It seems to nullify several existing federal statutes, such as the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968, and the Brady law. Such measures could be enforced by federal agents, but not by people employed by the State of Missouri or its political subdivisions. Very few cases could be brought by Federal Agents alone.
This is not the first time SAPA has been pushed in Missouri. In 2013, a very similar bill to SB 367 was passed by the House and the Senate. Governor Jay Nixon vetoed it. A veto override failed because two senators switched their votes.
In 2014, a similar bill had passed the House. It looked likely to pass the Senate, but legislative maneuvering by the House leader, John Diehl allowed for an amendment of the bill just minutes before the end of the session. According to mofirst.org:
John Diehl chose none of those options. Instead, he waited, and waited, until 5:40 pm when there was only 20 minutes left, to pass an amended HB 1439 and send it to the Senate. That made the bill an easy target for a liberal filibuster. HB 1439 was on the senate floor with ultra-liberal Sen. Jolie Justus filibustering it when the final bell rang on the last day of the year's legislative session..
The final entry on HB 1439's Action page tells the rest of the story: “Taken Up – Time expired pursuant to the Constitution.” John Diehl purposely killed the Second Amendment Preservation Act and tried to make it look like it was the Senate's fault.
Several of the key players who opposed SAPA in 2013 and 2014 are gone. John Diehl resigned over a sex and text scandal. Senators who opposed the bill have left.
Both the current Governor, Mike Parson, and Lt. Governor Mike Hehoe supported the bill previously.
Exactly what will happen if the bill passes is unknown.
If signed into law I am sure law enforcement officers in Missouri will not be sending people found with short barreled rifles or silencers to the BATFE for prosecution since under this law they would lose their jobs.
Exactly what else will happen remains to be seen.
Bonus Video Explanation of SB 367
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.