Joe Biden’s Justice Department sued Missouri last week over a state law seeking to protect the Second Amendment rights of Missouri residents against federal gun control regulations.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, signed House Bill 85 in June 2021. In essence, the law, known as the Second Amendment Preservation Act, prohibits enforcement of any federal law, rule, order, regulation, or action that restricts or infringes on the people’s right to keep and bear arms per the Second Amendment.
The law also provides legal recourse, including monetary damages of $50,000 and injunctive relief, against any person or entity who knowingly deprives a Missouri resident of the rights or privileges ensured by the federal and state constitutions to keep and bear arms.
The Justice Department contends that the law violates the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, which states that the federal constitution, and federal laws, generally take precedence over state laws and constitutions. The Justice Department also argues that the law hurts law enforcement efforts in Missouri. As reported by The Blaze:
“This act impedes criminal law enforcement operations in Missouri,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a news release. “The United States will work to ensure that our state and local law enforcement partners are not penalized for doing their jobs to keep our communities safe.”
“A state cannot simply declare federal laws invalid,” principal deputy assistant attorney general Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, added. “This act makes enforcement of federal firearms laws difficult and strains the important law enforcement partnerships that help keep violent criminals off the street.”
The outcome of the lawsuit is essential. The Missouri law seeks to stop the federal government’s consistent efforts to erode further and gut the Second Amendment. If Missouri prevails, other states could follow suit and pass similar laws.
Time will tell whether the Missouri law is legal or whether efforts to defeat it are successful.
Mr. Hakim is an attorney and columnist. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, American Thinker, and other online publications. He is also a regular guest on OANN’s Tipping Point.