Missouri lawmakers pushing to nullify federal machine gun ban
Republican lawmakers in Missouri vow to overturn a gubernatorial veto and enact a law that will both nullify the federal ban on owning machine guns and make it illegal for federal authorities to try to enforce it.
“This bill doesn’t put one new gun on the street,” state House Bill 436 author State Rep. Doug Funderburk (R) told CNN in an interview aired Wednesday. “It strictly says that Missouri is going to protect the Second Amendment rights of Missourians.”
The measure would put state law above federal gun regulations and make it illegal to conduct background checks for gun owners or to publish a gun owner’s name and address.
The bill was vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon (D) during the last legislative session after passing through both the state House and Senate. With each chamber is dominated by Republicans, Funderburk and his colleagues have promised to overcome the veto as the new session begins on Wednesday.
Opponents of the bill like St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson argue that declaring federal gun laws void also endangers cooperation between local and federal authorities.
“If the legislature overrides the governor’s veto, [the bill] would preclude us from enforcing those laws,” Dotson said to CNN. “Basicallly putting a sign on Missouri that says, ‘Okay criminals, it’s okay to come to Missouri. We won’t prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law, like Illinois, like Kansas, like Arkansas, like every other state in the union.”
Update, 9:46 p.m. EST: KMBC-TV reported that the veto attempt on Wednesday failed by one vote.
While the state House voted 109-49 in favor of the veto, the Senate could not muster the two-thirds majority required to implement it, garnering a 22-12 vote.
Watch CNN’s report, aired Wednesday, below.