Missouri’s SECOND AMENDMENT PRESERVATION ACT

handgunSenate bill 613, known as the SECOND AMENDMENT PRESERVATION ACT is moving forward in the Missouri legislature. The bill is similar to one that was almost passed last year over the governor’s veto.

Key provisions are:

Declares invalid all federal laws or orders that infringe on the federal and state right to keep and bear arms. Such infringments would include confiscation, taxing, registering, tracking, selling and trading of firearms, ammunition or accessories.

 – No law enforcement officer or agency may enforce such infringing federal laws and they may be sued by Missouri citizens whose rights are thereby violated. Attorney’s fees and costs are paid by the loser of such lawsuit. The defendant cannot use governmental immunity as a defense. The violator may be arrested and charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This  is effective on August 28, 2017, or upon the passage of any federal law that curtails the right to keep and bear arms or upon the passage of similar laws in at least four other states.

The bill permits open-carrying of a firearm by persons holding a concealed carry permit in all political subdivisions in the state. It also forbids the disarming or restraint of any persons carrying a handgun except where there is a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. No political subdivision may outlaw the otherwise legal use of a firearm in the defense of persons or property.

Provides for the training and designation of school teachers or administrators as armed “school protection officers.”

– There is also a provision that no health care professional may be required by law to inquire if patients own firearms, or to document or notify authorities of such ownership, unless by court order. [Bill modified 01/27/2014:  no longer prohibits doctors from documenting ownership status, but it does require written permission to disclose that information]

Lowers the age to obtain a concealed carry permit from 21 to 19.

Makes possession of a firearm a felony for any person illegally present in the state.

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Passage of this (or a similar) bill seems likely and if the governor signs (or his veto is overridden), this will create a confrontation with federal law enforcement agents who heavily count on the cooperation of local law enforcement.

The threat of state prosecution may not thwart federal agents, but it will give pause to any Missouri law enforcement agency or officer thinking about assisting federal efforts to enforce federal firearms laws. For an overview of Missouri Weapons offenses, see Chapter 571 of the Missouri Revised Statutes.

Proposed Missouri law would nullify federal gun laws

A proposed Missouri law pokes a (trigger) finger in Congress’ face. The proposed law, known as the Missouri Firearms Freedom Act, HB 1230, was pre-filed on December 1 by Rep. Cynthis Davis of O’Fallon.

The law is a direct challenge to the authority of the US Congress and would specifically invalidate federal firearms laws. The bill, which cites the 9th, 10th & 2nd amendments, as well as the US Commerce clause, declares that the federal government has no authority to regulate the sale, transport and use of personal firearms (rifles, shotguns and handguns) which are manufactured in–and remain in–Missouri.

The logic of the bill is that many federal firearms laws are based on federal interstate commerce powers. Therefore, if a gun does not enter into interstate commerce, Congress ought to have no authority to regulate it.

That is a fair and reasonable interpretation, but one that was abandoned almost 70 years ago when the US Supreme Court–in the case of Wickard v. Filburn–held that federal laws regarding wheat farming applied to any wheat, grown anywhere in the United States, whether it was sold across state lines or not.

This applied even if the farmer ate the wheat in his own kitchen.


As silly as this sounds, the same principle means that a handgun produced [and remaining] in Missouri is deemed to be involved in interstate commerce. Obviously, passage of this proposed legislation will set up a confrontation between the federal government and some Missouri citizen bold enough to violate federal gun laws based on the new state law. Good luck to that guy.

I didn’t see any provision in the bill claiming that Missouri would in any way defend its citizens against an illegal federal prosecution.

Montana and Tennessee have passed similar laws. Here’s a CNN piece:


Many other state legislatures will likely take up a version of the Firearms Freedom Act in the coming year. Even so, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has declared such laws have no effect on federal enforcement.

The question is whether the US Supreme Court will hold to the Wickard v. Filburn interpretation of the interstate commerce clause. If the commerce clause were to be re-interpreted in a more common sense manner, it would open the door to a massive rollback of federal control over the people and the states. For more information, go to the website Firearms Freedom Act.