Senate 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.