Sponsor of Missouri's 2A Preservation Act Ready For Court Fight

AP Photo/Steven Senne

Rep. Jered Taylor sounds pretty confident that the Second Amendment Preservation Act signed into law by Missouri Gov. Brad Parson over the weekend is going to withstand a court challenge, but he’s gearing up for a legal fight over the new law all the same.

Democrats have been blasting the new law as an affront to the Constitution, with House Minority Leader Crystal Quade leading the way with her hyperbolic denouncements of the new measure.

“House Bill 85 is a radical, dangerous, and obviously unconstitutional attempt to declare that Missouri will refuse to follow federal gun laws. When people are looking for real solutions on crime, policing, and public safety, Governor Parson and the Republican legislature have instead chosen to preserve Missouri’s growing reputation for extremist and dangerous laws. The new law even allows criminals who violate federal gun law to sue our local law enforcement officers for a minimum $50,000 fine if they in any way assist with federal investigations. It quite literally defunds the police and gives that taxpayer money to convicted criminals. It is long past time for Republicans in Jefferson City to stop the political grandstanding, take their jobs as leaders seriously and pass real solutions to crime in our state.”

HB 85 isn’t dangerous or unconstitutional, and I don’t consider it to be all that radical either. It simply states that state and local law enforcement in Missouri will not assist the federal government in enforcing any new federal gun control laws, and provides a mechanism for residents to sue departments if they violate the state law. It’s also amusing to see Quade bash that provision in the Second Amendment Preservation Act, given that just a few months ago she was demanding more accountability for police.

For his part, Rep. Jered Taylor says he assumes the new law will be challenged in court, but he feels confident about the constitutionality of the measure.

“People think that this is somehow violating the supremacy clause of the constitution which it’s not. We’re not telling the feds what they can and can’t do, we’re just telling our law enforcement in the state what they can and can’t do.”

He compared this bill to medical marijuana being legal in the state.

“It’s still against the law federally to have marijuana, to sell it, to buy it and to use it but we as a state have said we’re not going to help enforce that federal law, in fact, we think it’s legal to have marijuana medically,” Taylor said. “I believe that it’s going to be upheld by the Supreme Court like other examples of anti-commandeering that have been used in the past.”

Taylor’s point is an important one, though he could also have pointed to states like California, which have passed Sanctuary State laws forbidding police from cooperating with ICE in enforcing most immigration laws. The Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to the California law, allowing it to remain in place, and that’s probably the most likely outcome of any lawsuit filed against enforcement of the Second Amendment Preservation Act as well. Democrats and gun control activists may not like it, but the new law is on solid legal ground… just like the right to keep and bear arms it’s designed to preserve.

Jul 31, 2021 8:30 AM ET