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On Tuesday, federal district court Judge Brian Wimes issued an important ruling striking down Missouri’s Second Amendment Protection Act (SAPA). SAPA is a “gun sanctuary” law that restricts state and law-enforcement cooperation with efforts to enforce federal gun control laws.

Gun sanctuary laws enacted by red states are in large part modeled on immigration sanctuary laws enacted by numerous blue states and localities, in order to limit state cooperation with enforcement of federal immigration laws. … Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and several red states have decided to imitate the blue states’ success. Courts—including both liberal and conservative judges—were right to rule in favor of immigration sanctuaries, and Judge Wimes should have applied the same principles in the gun context, as well.

Judge Wimes correctly recognizes that “Missouri cannot be compelled to assist in the enforcement of federal regulations within the state.” Longstanding Supreme Court precedent holds that the federal government cannot “commandeer” state officials to help enforce federal law. That precedent played a key role in the Trump Administration’s defeats in various immigration sanctuary cases, most notably in the California “sanctuary state” case, which is closely analogous to the Missouri gun litigation. Judge Wimes could have saved himself a lot of time and effort by simply applying the same logic here.

Instead, the court concludes that SAPA violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution (which mandates that constitutionally authorized federal law is supreme over state law) because the Missouri law goes beyond merely refusing to help the feds and actually “regulate[s] federal law enforcement” and  “interfere[s] with its operations.” But, in reality, SAPA does no such thing. Its provisions merely impose constraints on state and local officials. To the extent that may not be true, Judge Wimes should have struck down applications of the law to federal officials, while leaving intact the constraints it imposes on state ones. …

Judge Wimes also ruled that various parts of the law are unconstitutional because they violate the doctrine of “intergovernmental immunity,” which  bars states from regulating the federal government, and “discriminating” against it or “those with whom it deals.” Most of the provisions he claims violate this doctrine actually just restrict the actions of Missouri state and local officials. Section 1.470 forbids state and local government agencies from hiring people who previously participated in the enforcement of the types of federal gun laws listed in the Act.

Finally, I should emphasize that Judge Wimes’ ruling is wrong regardless of whether the federal gun laws listed in SAPA actually violate the Second Amendment or not. Even if these laws are entirely constitutional, so far as the Second Amendment is concerned, the federal government still can’t commandeer states to help enforce them.

Hopefully, US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit will take note of the many flaws in this district court decision, and overturn it on appeal. 

— Ilya Somin in Federal Court Issues Flawed Decision Striking Down Missouri Gun Sanctuary Law

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42 COMMENTS

    • First appointed as a state judge by Governor Matt Blunt, son of senator Roy “red Flag Compromiser” Blunt

      • Possibly, however splain to me how black owned restaurant week isn’t racist. Or black development conference, united negro college fund, blm, etc, etc, etc, aren’t.

        • Racism is ugly and not just the flaw of white folks. Most racist people I ever met were Asians. I’ve never used the N word against blacks as an adult. But I’ve been called ‘honkey’, ‘whitey’ and ‘cracker’ to my face.

          The only time I used the N word as a child by grandfather slapped it right out of my face.

      • Not all black people are n!88@$ and not all n!88@$ are black people. But some certainly are.

    • .the honorable c. thomas is a Constitution-abiding jurist who happens to be black.

      .alternatively, kagan, scrote-omayor, & stevens (retired) are all robe-nwords/honkies by virtue of their actions. garland & wray are badge-nwords/honkies by virtue of their actions.

      .tough shit

    • Apparently Wimes failed Constitutional intent 101 for Dummies. There should be a test for wannabe appointees to the federal bench. It should be a 100-question, essay-answer test on the intent of the original signers to the Constitution. A passing grade should be 95%. Just like there should be a mental competency test for politicians. We have enough that are accidentally brain dead after arriving in office. There is no need for electing pols who are brain dead before even being elected. As I have often said about letting everybody, his bothers and their cousins into the country. We don’t need to import criminals. We have plenty enough of our own domestic criminals there is no need for foreign criminals. If they won’t accept their criminals back such as Viet Nam is doing, we should not allow them to export good to our country. See how quickly they will snap up their exported criminals.

  1. What would be his ruling on The Fugitive Slave Act?
    I am sure he would defer to the Federal government’s position.

  2. Apparently the trial judge does not know his history. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled, in Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842), that states did not have to offer aid in the hunting or recapture of enslaved people, significantly weakening the law of 1793. I trust you will see the parallel.
    The handbill from https://www.nps.gov/articles/images/Caution-Boston-Broadside.jpg
    Fugitive Slaves ATTENTION. The Slave-hunter is among us! BE ON YOUR GUARD! AN ARREST IS PLANNED FOR TO-NIGHT. BE READY TO RECEIVE THEM, WHENEVER THEY COME!’

    • Umm ok mule. When 80 county sheriffs in ILLannoy give the finger to Dims over gun ban BS I trust Missouri will do the same! Good luck to y’all🙄

  3. A nitwit judge rolled out a red carpet welcome for Big Brother and eventually another Waco, etc.

    All of the poop happens because the spoonfed public goes around believing Gun Control is sugar and spice and everything nice when History Confirms what hides behind the Gun Control smiley face is pure evil…Failure to Define Gun Control is the fault of sensitive Gun Owners who would rather whine about everything but what matters, therefore the judge sided with sugar and spice and everything nice.

  4. There’s a bombshell over at Ars Technica that should interest POTG :

    The article is titled : “Gun violence is the top killer of US kids—the pandemic made it worse’

    Ars is kinda like TTAG, the real fun is in the comment section. Here’s just *one* :

    “Honest open Q to everyone here:

    How do you plan on fixing this when the supreme court has time and again confirmed the 2a?

    1) That 2A jurisprudence is newer than Roe v. Wade, which has been overturned, so, fixing that part is clearly on the table now.

    2) “A well-regulated militia…” is also in the “founding document”, I suggest not ignoring that anymore, as a start.”

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2023/03/gun-violence-is-the-top-killer-of-us-kids-the-pandemic-made-it-worse/?comments=1&comments-page=1

    And a whole lot more of that crap… 🙂

  5. well duh. the 2nd amendment is the Supreme regarding guns that over rides all gun control and federal efforts to enforce it in the various states.indeed the Supremacy Clause says judges are bound by that.

  6. I always new state cops have to help federal cops. Them sanctuary states are for show and tell. When it comes time to ring the chime theyll all jump to the sound.
    Why? Because all states are dependent on federal giverment.
    Americans lost their freedom when 40 acres and a mule could no longer support the family.

  7. It really doesn’t matter much what the judge said–state officials do not have to cooperate with the feds if they don’t want to. The only thing the law did was to make sure that state officials didn’t, as the op states. So just because someone has a firearm that may be illegal under federal law doesn’t mean that the county mounties have to go out and seize it, nor is it incumbent–or for that matter permissible–for district attorneys to charge federal crimes in a state prosecution. To me, these sanctuary declarations or whatever ilk are little more than political grandstanding.

  8. “Judge Used Flawed Logic to Strike Down Missouri’s Second Amendment Protection Act”

    As if the judge didn’t know that.

    • After appeal of the judge’s ruling by the Missouri AG. The law will remain in affect until all court cases have been adjudicated.

    • You are assuming an affirmative action lawyer even realizes there is such a thing as a Constitution. I was just reading about law school admissions at Stanford, one of the “leading” law schools in Kallifornicadia if not the nation. Standards at Stanford Law School are significantly lower for blacks than any other race. In spite of that the drop out rate is staggering despite all sorts of assists to black students while enrolled.

  9. These bills purposefully try to assert the notion of nullification to get political clout and then people are amazed that a judge knocks them down

  10. @Hannibal
    “You are defending someone who is LITERALLY calling a judge the “n word” “.

    Why not? The 1st Amendment protects only “nice” speech? Is that where you stand?

    Being impolite is not a violation of anyone’s rights. The idea that somehow “hate speech” isn’t protected by the Constituiton is another example of, “I believe in the 1st Amendment, but…

    The 1st Amendment is protection against the mob changing its mind on who can say what. If racial slurs are not protected, then neither are your personal opinions about anything else. We are already seeing the tyranny of blocking speech that offends someone; makes them feel unwanted.

    And, eventually, the mob decides what “truth” is.

  11. Amen Sam, good to see someone understands the truth about free speech.
    If a black person has the right to call me a cracker, or honky I have the right to call a black person, which 90% of them are, the “N” word.

  12. Amen, Sam and Lee. Free speech doesn’t mean no hurt feelings. Free speech might get your nose flattened, but there is always an effect to every cause. I used to have a cartoon on my office wall of an obviously banana republic officer with a corpse laying against a wall with multiple black dots on the wall. The caption for the cartoon was, “Nobody denies he had the right of free speech. On the other hand he was a pain to have around.”

    • “The caption for the cartoon was, “Nobody denies he had the right of free speech. On the other hand he was a pain to have around.”

      Think I have seen that cartoon.

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