Nixon vetoes bill that would have outlawed federal gun laws
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Governor Jay Nixon vetoed House Bill 436 on Friday. The bill, that would have established the ‘Second Amendment Preservation Act,’ would have criminalized federal agents enforcing federal gun laws. Nixon said the bill was constitutionally impermissible in a press release, citing the supremacy clause.
If the bill had passed, federal agents could have been charged with a class A misdemeanor for enforcing any law that “sought to infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms.”
Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones (R-Eureka) said that he wants to override Nixon’s veto. He told the Associated Press that he is “shocked and astounded.” Furthermore, he believes that a super-majority of Missourians want their elected officials to override the bill.
Aside from the supremacy clause, Nixon also brought up other issues he had with the bill. One was that the bill would have made it a crime for media to publish photos of gun rights supporters at rallies or of young Missourians harvesting their first turkey or deer.
Additionally, a reporter could be subject to jail time or a fine for publishing the name of a burglary victim that had his or her firearm stolen. They could also be barred from attaching their name to any story if they were a gun owner. Nixon summed up his dissent by stating:
“Putting aside the perplexing paradox of seeking to protect one constitutional right by so significantly diminishing another, curtailing speech in such a manner clearly violates the free exercise of speech protected by state and federal constitutions.”
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker praised the veto, claiming that the bill had dangerous consequences.
“Some may have called this legislation gun-friendly, but its true impact would be crime-friendly for urban residents,” Baker stated in a release. “The idea of limiting federal agents’ abilities to deal with such hardened criminals is foolish and would have only made our streets more dangerous.”
If Jones’ call to override the veto is heard it will have to occur during a September session and would require a two-thirds vote to ratify.