The US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit on Wednesday to block Missouri from enforcing a gun rights bill passed last year. The legislation, House Bill 85 or the Second Amendment Preservation Act, essentially invalidates federal gun laws that have no state equivalence in Missouri.
Local law enforcement could face $50,000 lawsuits from private citizens of the state who believe their Second Amendment rights have been violated.
“Missouri law declares five categories of federal firearms laws ‘invalid’ and deters and penalizes their enforcement by federal, state and local law enforcement,” a Justice Department statement reads. Attorney General Merrick Garland claimed responsibility for the Missouri action “hinders the operations of criminal repression” in the state.
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“A state cannot simply declare federal laws invalid,” Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Brian Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, also said.
According to the department, the law has caused confusion among officials and said many local authorities have not been as cooperative with federal authorities.
“Critical information that state and local offices previously shared with federal law enforcement officials to facilitate public safety and law enforcement is now often inaccessible to federal law enforcement agencies. of the law”, indicates the complaint.
A spokesperson for the Missouri attorney general’s office responded to the lawsuit by upholding gun rights law and accusing President Joe Biden’s administration of putting “Partisan politics before public safety.”
The Missouri law also faces a challenge in the state Supreme Court, which heard arguments in the case earlier this month.
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