by Alan Brooks
Back in May, Robert wrote about Missouri’s Second Amendment Preservation Act, a bill that attempts to nullify federal gun laws in much the same way that Montana, Kansas, and a handful of other states have done. (Read the full text here) The drafters of the Missouri bill went a little further than some other states by making it a class A misdemeanor to enforce or attempt to enforce any law that infringes on citizens’ right to keep and bear arms and by allowing citizens whose 2A rights are violated to sue for damages. The bill was vetoed by Democrat Governor Jay Nixon, but today legislators overrode that veto. . .
Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte and St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson don’t seem to think that’s such a good idea. In a joint blog post with Police Executive Research Forum director, Chuck Wexler, the chief LEOs said:
The outcome of this absurd legislation is that our communities will be less safe if criminals are not prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Other states recognize the value of partnerships between local police and federal agencies. If Missouri shuts down these partnerships because of a decision made by legislators, in effect we will be encouraging criminals to come to Missouri.
Or perhaps discouraging criminals, since the chances of having a personal ventilation system violently installed while committing a crime are going to go up with more Missourians packing. Chiefs Forte and Dotson attempt to back up their hoplophobic claim by pointing to a joint St. Louis PD/ATF operation earlier this year that they say netted more than 200 arrests and 265 firearms confiscated. What they fail to mention is that, of the 200+ individuals arrested during the four-month, $200 million dollar operation, only 159 people were actually charged with a crime and some of those charges are certain to be thrown out because of entrapment violations by federal officers. That’s a bill to the tax payers of over $750,000 per gun taken off the streets and the tactics used in these ATF stings have already been referred to as “disreputable” (pdf) (even when they weren’t clearly cases of entrapment) by Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. So apparently local law enforcement in Missouri can’t effectively enforce the law without federal agents breaking the law on their behalf in order to reduce crime in a state whose murder rate is less than half that of the city of Chicago’s and places 39th out of 50 on the Brady Campaign’s gun control ranking. We’ll see how it goes for the Show-Me-State’s new 2nd Amendment law when it inevitably ends up in court. The bill now heads to the Senate to finalize the override, and opinions are divided as to the outcome there. Stay tuned.