The city and county of St. Louis filed a joint lawsuit against Missouri, seeking to block a new Second Amendment "sanctuary" law preventing local officials from enforcing federal gun control laws.
The suit, filed on Monday in Cole County Circuit Court, argued that the Second Amendment Preservation Act signed by Republican Gov. Mike Parson on June 14 violates the Constitution's supremacy clause by trying to subvert federal law and will hinder law enforcement’s ability to deter crime.
Plaintiffs asked the court to declare that the law “infringes upon the constitutional rights guaranteed by the Missouri and United States constitutions." They also argued that the law “curtail[s] law enforcement officers’ ability to investigate, apprehend, and prosecute criminals.”
“When people are looking for real solutions on crime, policing, and public safety, Governor Parson and the Republican legislature have instead to preserve Missouri’s growing reputation for extremist and dangerous laws,” the suit said.
“It quite literally defunds the police and gives that taxpayer money to convicted criminals,” the lawsuit added, citing a provision subjecting law enforcement to a fine of up to $50,000 if it’s determined that officers violate a person’s Second Amendment rights. Convicted criminals could exploit the law by suing police departments for damages under the provision, the suit argued.
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said the law “takes away tools our communities need to prevent gun violence.”
Jones said in a statement, “2020 was the deadliest year of gun violence in our state’s history, and now the Missouri legislature is throwing up barriers to stop police from doing their most important job — preventing and solving violent crime,”
#HB85 makes it more difficult for law enforcement to do their job: stopping violent crime. #moleg is once again throwing up barriers that make communities less safe.
Proud to join @DrSamPage to fight back against this harmful and unconstitutional law. https://t.co/gEYwpaG0hw pic.twitter.com/8QbBbEFoyu
— Mayor Tishaura O. Jones (@saintlouismayor) June 21, 2021
“This new law is like the state holding out a sign that says 'Come Commit Gun Violence Here,’” St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said.
Parson said when signing the legislation that it was an effort to push back against “overreach” by those in Washington, D.C., where Democrats narrowly control government and have recommitted themselves to tightening federal gun laws during the Biden administration.
“H.B. 85 puts those in Washington, D.C., on notice that here in Missouri, we support responsible, law-abiding gun owners and that we oppose government overreach and any unlawful efforts to limit our access to firearms,” Parson said of the bill.
A spokesman for Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who along with the state was named as a defendant in the suit, called the Monday petition a "partisan lawsuit."
"At the same time they’re attempting to defund the police, progressive politicians have filed this partisan lawsuit in an attempt to infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law abiding Missourians," spokesman Chris Nuelle told the Washington Examiner in a statement. "We will continue our efforts to prosecute violent crime, and we will not shy away from defending the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens.”
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Original Author: Jeremy Beaman
Original Location: St. Louis sues Missouri over new Second Amendment 'sanctuary' law