Missouri Gov. Mike Parson will sign newly passed legislation that would ban state law enforcement agencies from enforcing new federal gun laws following proposed rulemaking from the Biden administration to regulate firearms with stabilizing braces.
According to Parson spokeswoman Kelli Jones, the Republican governor will sign the “Second Amendment Preservation Act," which says that it is the duty of courts and law enforcement agencies in Missouri to protect the Second Amendment rights of citizens to keep and bear arms. It also declares federal laws that infringe on that right null.
“The Governor is aware of the legal implications of this bill, but also that, now more than ever, we must define a limited role for federal government in order to protect citizen’s rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution," Jones said in a statement to news outlets on Thursday.
The bill, she said, is about allowing Missourians "to protect themselves and acknowledging the federalist constitutional structure of our government."
Parson will sign the bill at a shooting range in the Kansas City suburb of Lee’s Summit, reports said.
Gun-control advocacy groups and Democrats criticized the bill, saying it would violate the Constitution's Supremacy Clause. Democrats have also argued that because Missouri has a relatively high number of shootings and murders, the measure would be dangerous.
“This bill has no benefit, and will interfere with the enforcement of the critical protections that help keep Missourians safe from gun violence,” gun-control group Moms Demand Action spokeswoman Tara Bennett said in a statement after Parson indicated he would support the bill. “There is no doubt this bill should not become law.”
But Republicans in the state legislature said that the federal government will continue to push for more and more gun control measures.
“Gun bans directly, magazine bans, attacks on private gun manufacturers, red flag laws and restrictions on individual citizens from buying firearms,” state Sen. Eric Burlison, a Republican, said in January.
“We are doing this bill because the Second Amendment is under attack. It’s under attack by the Democrats, specifically the Biden administration and the Democrats in Washington,” said state Rep. Jered Taylor, a Republican, when the bill passed in May.
The Second Amendment Preservation Act has been introduced in the state legislature several times since 2013. Previously, the bill was vetoed by Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon.
This year, however, the bill was approved by the Senate in a 22-10 vote, and the House approved the measure 111-42.
Earlier this month, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) proposed a new rule that would consider most firearms with stabilizing pistol braces illegal. The rule would define a handgun as a short-barreled rifle if it is equipped with a stabilizing pistol brace, which, according to the ATF’s own estimate, is a popular accessory.