Jones, Page, take Second Amendment Preservation Act to court


Updated at 5:30 p.m. on June 21, with comments from Governor Mike Parson.

A new law that seeks to overturn federal gun laws in Missouri faces its first legal challenge.

St. Louis and the County of St. Louis jointly filed a lawsuit Monday asking a judge in Cole County, Missouri, to declare the Second Amendment Preservation Act unconstitutional.

“This nefarious and unconstitutional law removes the tools our communities need to prevent gun violence. I am proud to partner with the County of St. Louis in this effort to protect our region and stop this law, ”Mayor Tishaura Jones said in a statement.

County executive Sam Page called the new law a sign that reads “Come and commit acts of gun violence here.”

“We can’t expect people to stay in St. Louis or move their businesses here if we don’t do everything we can to reduce gun violence in the area, but this new law sends the opposite message to our residents. and the business community. “said Page.

SAPA, adopted on the last day of the legislative session and signed by Governor Mike Parson last week banned local police from enforcing federal gun laws. Citizens have won the right to sue cities whose law enforcement officers attempt to enforce federal gun restrictions, resulting in fines of up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

the 15-page trial says SAPA violates the rights of St. Louis and the County of St. Louis to define their own powers. He also claims that the law violates the supremacy clause of the US Constitution.

“The effect of HB 85 on applicants and the functioning of [the city and county’s] law enforcement departments and personnel are innumerable and almost assuredly disastrous, ”city and county attorneys wrote, citing participation in federal task forces and the Integrated National Ballistics Network.

The US Department of Justice has previously warned Governor Parson that it believes SAPA is unconstitutional.

The law brought about some changes in the application of the law. Over the weekend, Phillip Dupuis, the O’Fallon, Missouri police chief, resigned, citing the “poor wording” and “unintended consequences” of SAPA. And the attorney general’s office workers who had been seconded as federal prosecutors to handle gun cases in an effort known as “Safer Streets” have gone out of business.

Parson said in a written statement that he “would reject any attempt by the federal government to circumvent the basic right of Missourians to keep and bear arms to protect themselves and their property.”

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann

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