Politics

‘Missouri Will Defend Its Citizens’: State Shoots Back At DOJ Over Gun Laws

(Photo by Jacob Moscovitch/Getty Images)

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Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and Attorney General Eric S. Schmitt said Thursday the Biden administration is infringing on the Second Amendment in a letter pushing back against the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“We will fight tooth and nail to defend the right to keep and bear arms protected by the Second Amendment,” the letter states. “We will not tolerate any attempt by the federal government to deprive Missourians of this critical civil right.”

The DOJ warned the state Wednesday they cannot disregard federal gun laws after Parson signed a bill Saturday prohibiting police from enforcing federal gun laws.

Missouri’s new law prohibits local police from helping federal agents enforce laws that are deemed “invalid” and prohibits the hiring of former federal agents who enforce the laws. Local police departments can be sued for up to $50,000 if they enforce federal law. Federal agents can still enforce the laws, however.

The DOJ argued the new law impedes the “working relationship between federal and state law enforcement officers.” The department stated the state lacks the authority to prevent federal law enforcement agents from performing their job.

Parson pushed back against claims the state is trying to “nullify federal law” and instead said the state “is defending its people from federal government overreach.” (RELATED: Man Exercises His Second Amendment And Fatally Shoots Violent Man Armed With Metal Baton)

“We must remind you that our liberty is safeguarded both by the right to keep and bear arms and by the power reserved to the State of Missouri under the Tenth Amendment and basic principles of federalism.”

Parson argued the Second Amendment is inalienable, the state can refuse unconstitutional infringements and the state will defend its citizens from government overreach.

Parson said the Second Amendment Preservation Act protects Missourians from “unconstitutional gun taxes, confiscation, and control.”

The DOJ cited the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution to claim Missouri “cannot nullify federal law.” Under the clause, federal law supersedes state law. Parson, however, argued, “Missouri has the right to refuse to enforce unconstitutional infringements by the federal government.”

“The State of Missouri has every right under our system of government and the Tenth Amendment to place limitations on what state and local officials may do,” the letter stated. “The Department of Justice has identified no conflict with the federal law from the Second Amendment Preservation Act’s restrictions on state activities and hiring practices.”

“President Biden and the Department of Justice have decided to reward states and cities that refuse to cooperate with enforcing constitutional immigration laws that protect our citizens against foreign threats, but now they attack Missouri for refusing to cooperate with enforcing unconstitutional gun confiscation laws that put our citizens in danger and degrade their rights. You cannot have it both ways,” it continued.