The rush to pass gun legislation following the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre wasn’t just about abridging gun rights. Several states pushed back against potential restrictions, throwing their support behind the Second Amendment.
But perhaps Missouri’s legislature took it a little too far. At least Gov. Jay Nixon thinks so, according to the Associated Press:
Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed legislation Friday that would have made it a Missouri crime for federal agents to attempt to enforce federal gun laws in the state and could have landed journalists in jail for publishing the names of gun owners.
The Democratic governor said the bill passed by the Republican-led Legislature violated the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, which generally gives preference to federal laws over conflicting state ones. He said it also infringed in the First Amendment rights of free speech and press.
It’s one thing for a state to decline to uphold federal regulations, as many are now doing with marijuana prohibitions. It’s a whole other matter to try to charge federal agents with crimes for enforcing them. Imagine the size of the Justice Department SWAT team that would show up in Jefferson City over an arrest. They would most certainly be embracing their right to bear arms. As for the rule about publishing names of gun owners, Nixon said it was a bit vague:
“Under this bill, newspaper editors around the state that annually publish photos of proud young Missourians who harvest their first turkey or deer could be charged with a crime,” the governor said in a written statement announcing the veto.
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