The Missouri Legislature has just passed a bill that would nullify any federal gun control laws. Now, the bill only needs Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s signature in order to become a law.
The Republican-dominated Missouri House voted 118-38 in favor of the bill. Despite such strong support from Rep. Doug Funderburk (R) and other Republican legislators, the bill still has a shaky future. Gov. Nixon sides with the Democrats and even if he did sign the bill into law, Attorney General Eric Holder might have something to say about the bill. Holder recently threatened Kansas over a similar law, stating that he would “take all appropriate action, including litigation if necessary” to kill the law. He added, “And a state certainly may not criminalize the exercise of federal responsibilities.”
Representative Funderburk hasn’t been deterred by Holder’s threats. He argued, “We have the authority to enforce these laws. We are trying to position us so that we in this state can have safer neighborhoods.”
Not all state representatives share Funderburk’s pro-gun stance. Democratic Rep. Stacey Newman said, “I don’t understand why this body continues to turn their back and ignore gun violence in order to increase access to weapons.” Other opponents argue that the bill does nothing to address urban gun violence.
Gun control advocates have three other reasons to be upset. The bill would also allow certain people to carry guns into schools, it would lower the minimum age to acquire a firearm from 21 to 19, and it would allow people to carry firearms that are 16 inches or less in areas that have ordinances against open carry.
Lumping these laws together may have been a bad idea. With Holder out to defend the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, which states that federal law always trumps state law, these other pro-gun measures might get caught in the crossfire.