Missouri House Bills 85 and 310, known as the Second Amendment Protection Act (SAPA), passed out of legislature on May 15, 2021. The Governor signed the final bill on June 12, 2021. The law is an important step and response to a Federal Government overtly hostile to the Second Amendment.
Watching SAPA Law Challenges:
While SAPA is a Missouri law, other state legislatures watch for its success or failure as they hedge their bets on proposing and voting on similar legislation in their states.
A few days ago, a Cole County, Missouri Judge denied a request by St. Louis and Jackso Counties, who sued to block the law. This victory is a good sign for those opposed to Federal overreach, but just the beginning of legal challenges sure to come.
What is SAPA:
Here is what Senator Eric Burlison, the Senator who filed and led the debate in the Senate, has to say about how SAPA law impacts Missourians.
The Second Amendment Preservation Act declares all federal laws, rules, orders or other actions which restrict or prohibit the manufacture, ownership and use of firearms, firearm accessories or ammunition exclusively in Missouri will not be enforced by state law enforcement, state municipal officials and other state officials.
Why are SAPA and Similar Laws Important?
Americans are still quite divided on how much gun regulation is appropriate. The lame-stream media presents polls and studies that claim to show a majority want more gun restrictions. However, these polls are misleading in their questioning and results.
For example, the common question is, “should laws be prohibiting mentally ill people and those convicted of domestic violence from owning firearms?” Majorities answer “yes.” The “yes” answers substantiate the notion that people want MORE gun legislation. What is misleading is that this legislation already exists. It isn’t anything NEW.
Federal lawmakers can’t get all their gun legislation passed because there is not enough support for it. Politicians know if they vote against their constituents, especially on Second Amendment issues, their career may be over.
Governance by Edict:
In the absence of new legislation, Presidents pass executive orders and conspire with unelected bureaucrats running the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to use “rules,” “definitions,” and “opinions” to expand gun restrictions.
A change in definitions during President Trump’s term, the ATF defined bump stocks as machine guns. As a result, what used to be a piece of plastic became an illegal machine gun, and possession of one, a felony. A recent divided Appeals Court decision on the topic determined that lower courts should have granted injunctions filed by plaintiffs.
And many believe the court will ultimately deem the ATF’s actions unconstitutional.
In addition, to bump stocks, the ATF attempts to regulate the possession of pistol braces and specific triggers by proclamation. Further, the ATF’s attempt to redefine what a firearm is would make tens of thousands of Americans’ guns illegal to possess without paying fees to the government or giving their property to the federal government.
All this is to say, laws like SAPA are essential.
Is SAPA Constitutional?
Anyone claiming unequivocally to know SAPA’s fate is outrunning their headlights. Only the court will be able to answer this question.
Opponents claim that SAPA law violates the Federal Supremacy Clause.
SAPA declares that Missouri Law Enforcement Agencies will not be used as an arm of the Federal Government to enforce laws that unnecessarily molest the Second Amendment. SAPA further states federal laws that could restrict gun ownership among law-abiding Missourians as invalid in the state.
For example, under SAPA, state and municipal agencies that help federal agents confiscate bump stocks could be sued.
Let’s See Where This Goes:
Again, this win is a small step forward on a long path in the fight to protect law-abiding gun owners. Make sure to stay engaged in the progress of this law and for any similar laws needing support in your state.
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