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Missouri lawmakers are on the brink of prohibiting police officers from enforcing many federal gun laws, a measure Republicans have sought for nearly a decade.
The Second Amendment Preservation Act, which would declare federal firearms restrictions “invalid” across the state, passed the Senate in a party-line 22-10 vote late Thursday. The House can vote to send the measure to Gov. Mike Parson any time before the legislative session ends at 6 p.m. Friday.
Restrictions that would be “invalid” include laws that require fees, registration or tracking of guns, or laws prohibiting certain people from possessing a gun. The bill would bar local police from assisting federal agents in enforcing those laws and prohibit them from hiring former federal agents who had enforced them. There would be exceptions for cases in which the federal agents are enforcing gun restrictions that also exist in Missouri law.
Republicans pursued the measure with renewed vigor this year after the election of Democratic President Joe Biden, who has issued executive orders on gun control. Arizona passed a similar bill this year and the proposal has been pursued in about a dozen states.
The presidential orders include tighter regulation of homemade “ghost guns,” which lack serial numbers, and a device that allows a pistol to operate more like a rifle. The Biden administration also is encouraging states to adopt “red flag” laws that allow families or police to ask judges to temporarily confiscate guns from people who demonstrate “extreme risks” to themselves or others. The proposal has been introduced in Missouri and gone nowhere for at least the last five years.
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