The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Wednesday it filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent Missouri from enforcing a law invalidating federal firearms laws.
The complaint alleges a Missouri law, H.B. 85, is invalid under the Supremacy Clause. The Missouri law declares that certain federal firearms laws infringe on the Second Amendment rights of Missourians.
“This act impedes criminal law enforcement operations in Missouri,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. “The United States will work to ensure that our state and local law enforcement partners are not penalized for doing their jobs to keep our communities safe.”
The complaint says that the penalties imposed by Missouri’s law hampers the ability of state and local agencies to enforce federal gun laws and have also deterred cooperation with federal agencies, such as data sharing efforts. The lawsuit also says that dozens of state and local officers left their jobs due to the law.
This is a partisan lawsuit which seeks to attack Missourians’ #SecondAmendment rights & bring an end to the state’s crime-fighting tactics, including the Safer Streets Initiative.
— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) February 17, 2022
“This is a partisan lawsuit which seeks to attack Missourians’ #SecondAmendment rights & bring an end to the state’s crime-fighting tactics, including the Safer Streets Initiative,” Republican Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt tweeted Thursday in response to the lawsuit. “The law is on our side & we’ll beat Biden’s DOJ in court once again. #2A.”
The lawsuit seeks to prevent the Missouri law from being enforced and make clear that state and local officials can participate in federal task forces to enforce federal firearm laws, according to the DOJ.
“A state cannot simply declare federal laws invalid,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said in a statement. “This act makes enforcement of federal firearms laws difficult and strains the important law enforcement partnerships that help keep violent criminals off the street.”
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