The Missouri chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, the grassroots networks of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement after the Senate General Laws Committee advanced SB 39 and the House General Laws Committee heard HB 310 and HB 85, all dangerous nullification bills that would nullify federal public safety laws in Missouri and prohibit state and local law enforcement from assisting in the enforcement of those laws.
The bills, HB 85, HB 310, and SB 39, would purport to nullify an array of federal public safety laws, prevent Missouri state and local law enforcement from assisting in the enforcement of these laws, and threaten to penalize police, prosecutors, and other Missouri government employees for taking steps to protect their communities.
“Our communities are reeling from a year of record gun violence and an unprecedented pandemic, but instead of passing common-sense bills that could save lives, lawmakers are playing politics,” said Tara Bennett, a volunteer with the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Trying to nullify federal gun laws is extreme and unconstitutional, and preventing law enforcement officers who are on the front lines of the gun violence crisis from performing some of their most basic duties puts our communities at risk.”
In a seething editorial on Friday, the Kansas City Star Editorial Board wrote, “To see the Missouri Senate waste time and energy on an unconstitutional, unnecessary measure like SB 39 is frustrating. It’s doubly concerning when gun violence continues to rock the state, leading to record murders in some cities.”
Missouri continues to face over 1,100 gun deaths a year and has the fifth highest rate of gun deaths in the nation. Nullification legislation would undermine law enforcement efforts to curb this violence by interfering with the enforcement of federal public safety laws. Missouri already has some of the weakest gun laws in the country, and under a nullification law Missouri law enforcement officers would no longer be able to assist federal authorities in keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.