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Missouri Gov. Parson Admits Dangerous State Law Nullifying Federal Gun Laws Needs to Be Revisited, After Major Backlash from Law Enforcement, Barrage of Legal Challenges, and Negative Press

September 29, 2021

Missouri Governor Mike Parson yesterday, according to KMOV4, has said that the law attempting to nullify federal gun laws needs to be revisited. The law, which the governor signed in June and which went into effect in August, has received widespread opposition from law enforcement for prohibiting coordination between federal and local law enforcement and putting police departments at risk of $50,000 fines.


According to the report, Parson agreed the law needs to change and that the legislature would have to address it. The legislature passed the bill in May, and even before the law went into effect, it was undermining efforts to protect the public from gun violence, prompted a resignation from the O’Fallon chief of police, and resulted in the removal of local police from several federal task forces. 


In June, St. Louis and St. Louis County filed a legal challenge, arguing that the law is unconstitutional and dangerous and seeking an injunction to block the law. And in August, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a letter to Missouri officials putting them on notice and issuing a warning that states cannot ignore federal gun laws. In a court filing shortly before the law was enacted, the DOJ concluded the law was already hampering drug and weapons investigations. Everytown Law previously released a memo urging the Department of Justice to take similar action regarding an Arkansas law that also purports to nullify federal gun laws.


Additionally, a deep-dive by the New York Times earlier this month revealed the wide-reaching opposition to the law by everyone from local lawmakers to some of Missouri’s most conservative sheriffs and law enforcement leaders. In the story, Sheriff Brad Cole of Christian County, whom the New York Times described as a “fiery defender of the Second Amendment,” said “anytime you take away a tool from us to do our job and protect the people we serve, well, I’m going to have a huge problem with that…it’s just a terribly written law.”

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