Missouri Governor Vetoes Pro-Gun Law Due to Unintended Consequences

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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  • Warrren||

    Well a slight rewrite on the newspaper angle won't hurt anything and if he vetoes it again, well that will show his true stripes.

  • Agammamon||

    He's right about the reporter stuff but should have let the bill go through just to force it to the courts. After all, the federal government throws out a ton of unconstitutional laws and let's the courts rule on them to see if one sticks.

  • Zeb||

    Then the governor would be failing to uphold his oath to protect and obey the constitution. I assume the name publishing thing was in reaction to the names of gun license holders being published in NY. Seems to me a better way to deal with that would be not to make who has a gun permit public information. Can a reporter get the whole database of drivers license information from a FOIA request?

  • rts||

    Seems to me a better way to deal with that would be not to make who has a gun permit public information.

    Or not have permits at all.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Do governors take an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution or their respective state constitutions?

  • rts||

    Missouri Constitution

    Every senator or representative elect, before entering upon the duties of his office, shall take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation: "I do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will support the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and faithfully perform the duties of my office, and that I will not knowingly receive, directly or indirectly, any money or other valuable thing for the performance or nonperformance of any act or duty pertaining to my office, other than the compensation allowed by law."

    Strangely, I'm having a hard time finding the governor's oath, but I imagine it must be similar to the senator's or representative's above.

  • Paul.||

    Huh, should have read deeper.

    So let's pretend for a minute that the governor does promise to uphold the federal constitution. So then the 2nd amendment does apply to the states?

  • Paul.||

    Then the governor would be failing to uphold his oath to protect and obey the constitution.

    Does a governor promise to uphold The Constitution, or the state constitution from which he/she hails? I believe it's the latter.

  • ||

    I don't see any down side to this, and I hope the governor will reconsider. After all, if the feds and the locals get into a shootout, we all win.

  • Warrren||

    It's a shovel-ready project!

  • Zeb||

    Especially if it's in Missouri (apologies to anyone who might actually live there).

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Apology accepted (though it would interesting to see if Jay Nixon is willing to be linked to Cuomo, Bloomberg, and Obama).

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    I failed to see the problem as well. If you honestly think the federal government is violating the rights of the residents of your state, you should stop them.

  • Agammamon||

    http://www.cato.org/blog/state.....offee-mugs

    AZ is a great state and all, but we got some loons in office.

  • Ted S.||

    What state doesn't have any loons in office?

  • ||

    "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."

    Entirely apt and necessary legislation. Federal agents enforcing federal gun laws that violate the federal government's own supreme charter is illegal. Fuck them right in the ass for it.


    "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."

    1) Federal laws only possess supremacy if they are pursuant to the execution of the federal government's just and legitimate powers, which its restrictions on firearms are not.

    Furthermore, the highest of all federal laws, the Constitution of the United States, explicitly forbids the infringement of the right to keep and bear arms. Therefore, the ratification of this bill would have, in fact, been an act of necessary and proper submission to the federal government under the supremacy clause in compliance with a provision of the federal constitution whose intent is to safeguard a fundamental right.

    Being a deferential asshole won't add inches to your dick, Jay. I hope you're out of office soon.

  • ||

    2) What about gun owners' privacy?

  • Agammamon||

    A far secondary issue. I would say that you don't have a right to privacy when it comes to being outed as a gun owner.

    What makes it a problem is the government required registry that lists who's bought guns. Its one thing for a reporter to find that out by asking around the neighborhood, its a whole 'nother thing to have it compiled by the government and open to public access.

  • ||

    That's my point.

  • pan fried wylie||

    Being a deferential asshole won't add inches to your dick, Jay.

    It just helps reduce the number of cock-inches (trademarked unit of measurement) he might have to choke down before his term runs out.

  • pan fried wylie||

    Being a deferential asshole won't add inches to your dick, Jay.

    It just helps reduce the number of cock-inches (trademarked unit of measurement) he might have to choke down before his term runs out.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Damn! Thanks to the squirrels, he's getting double rations too.

  • anon||

    Being a deferential asshole won't add inches to your dick, Jay. I hope you're out of office soon.

    But that sure won't stop em from trying!

  • pan fried wylie||

    Repeatedly....

  • pan fried wylie||

    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.

    Does The Constitution apply to federal agents in the pursuit of their duties? I thought it just applied to Citizens.

  • ||

    You know what I'd love to see?

    1) Missouri outlaws the enforcement of unconstitutional federal firearms laws.

    2) Retarded federal agents attempt to enforce an unconstitutional federal firearms law.

    3) Aforementioned retarded federal agent is arrested, tried, and convicted of the felony, and is imprisoned as his sentence stipulates.

    4) Federal thugs arrive in huge numbers to force the Missouri state government to comply with its demands and release the offending agents.

    5) Local/state police (and perhaps the Missouri National Guard) show up to round up and charge this new wave of federal thugs with a litany of crimes, such as instigating rebellion against the United States, waging war on a peaceful state, treason, and, most of all, the same crime they charged the original federal thug with.

    That would be a fun day.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    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.

    Well, isn't tha nice of him? I wonder if he would be as deferential to the publishing regimes if it was the names and addresses of cops (most of whom own and carry) or Department of Revenue employees.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The left wing authoritarian governor of Montana did something very similar, also citing the "supremacy" of federal law. He did not, however, seem to think much of the supremacy argument when he was challenging the First Amendment in federal court. The Supremes executed the SCOTUS equivalent of wadding his appeal up and tossing it in the trash can right in front of him.

    Also, the worthless scumbag vetoed the state legislature's law allowing concealed carry without a permit, because he cannot bear to live in a world in which a citizen is not forced to beg on bended knee for permission from the sheriff to exercise his Constitutional rights.

  • Seamus||

    Imagine the size of the Justice Department SWAT team that would show up in Jefferson City over an arrest.

    There are precedents for the feds coming down like a ton of bricks on Missouri for not being properly deferential to federal authority: http://www.mcwm.org/history_camp_jackson.html

  • JeremyR||

    Not to mention General Order 11, which de-populated much of Western Missouri

  • JeremyR||

    Jay Nixon is a Democrat. He's not a uber-lefties, but he is a leftie.

    And frankly, I think it would be a great idea for state governments to arrest federal officers for violating state laws.

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