Media Continues Attacks On Missouri's 2A Preservation Act

(AP Photo/Chattanooga Times Free Press, John Rawlston)

For a law that hasn’t even taken effect yet, the new Second Amendment Preservation Act is generating an awful lot of attention and interest from the national media. And given the anti-gun slant from most press outlets, you can imagine what that attention looks like.

CNN is the latest outlet to allege that the new SAPA is hurting efforts to fight violent crime, though they don’t have much evidence to back up their claims. In fact, this is the best that they could come up with.

US Marshals preparing for a recent operation with local police in Missouri to arrest a fugitive allegedly involved in drug trafficking faced last-minute hurdles because of a controversial new state law aimed at protecting gun rights, according to US law enforcement officials.

The officials told CNN that local officials in Cape Girardeau decided their officers couldn’t assist federal authorities because there was a chance a drug dealer had a gun in the home.
City officials cited the law — which was passed by state lawmakers in June and goes into effect this weekend — that the state’s Republican governor says is aimed at protecting Second Amendment rights, and the possibility that federal authorities may seize guns meant that local officers couldn’t provide assistance to the federal officers, the US law enforcement officials said.
In the end, the operation went forward, but the episode is one of several that federal agents have encountered in Missouri because local authorities are worried about running afoul of the state law called the Second Amendment Preservation Act. In some cases, police departments have withdrawn their officers from task forces led by federal law enforcement agencies.
So, local officials had some concerns over their participation in a raid of a home, but ultimately decided to take part. Wow… big story, CNN.
What really bothers the anti-gun advocates opposed to the state’s new law, which officially takes effect on Saturday, August 28th, is that it’s going to mean that federal agencies are the ones enforcing federal gun laws in Missouri. Despite the media’s claims to the contrary, that’s not a bug in the law. It’s a feature.
Partnerships between local, state and federal authorities exist due to the recognition that federal assistance “allows the effort to go beyond state lines, to go beyond city lines,” said Keith Taylor, a former New York Police Department officer and adjunct criminal justice professor at John Jay College. The local involvement ensures that law enforcement has enough officers on the ground to thoroughly conduct investigations, he added.
Those partnerships do exist, and I suspect will continue to take place in certain circumstances in Missouri, but the federal government cannot compel local or state law enforcement agencies to enforce federal gun control laws, which the Second Amendment Preservation Act makes clear. Federal officials might not like it, but there’s nothing illegal or unconstitutional about that declaration. Still, CNN does its best to make it sound like a crisis is on hand in Missouri, citing in part of their report a declaration filed by ATF Agent Frederic Wilson, who’s in charge of the agency’s Kansas City office.
Since the law was passed, 12 of 53 state and local officers with federal deputizations have withdrawn from ATF task forces, Winston wrote in court documents.
By pulling state and local officers from the task forces, the bureau “is no longer able to fulfill its duties as effectively, including preventing, investigating, and assisting in the prosecution of violent offenders,” Winston wrote.
ATF, which has 25 field divisions throughout the country, “is the only federal agency authorized to license and inspect firearms dealers to ensure they comply with laws governing the sale, transfer, possession and transport of firearms,” according to the declaration.
Violent crime in Missouri is a “significant problem,” and ATF’s role in limiting illegal access to firearms is “key to preventing additional violent crimes in the state,” Winston wrote.
Again, there is nothing in the Second Amendment Preservation Act that prevents the ATF or any other federal agency from doing their job in Missouri, even if local or state officers are no longer part of task forces. If need be, the ATF can use U.S. Marshals to supplement their own agents, along with DEA, FBI, and other alphabet agencies headquartered in Washington, D.C.
I suspect that most of the huffing and puffing over SAPA will fade once the law takes effect and law enforcement agencies at all levels figure out the scope of the law and what it does and does not allow. Until then, however, expect more fearmongering on the part of outfits like CNN and anti-gun Democrats who are intent on portraying the Second Amendment Preservation Act as a pro-criminal law instead of a measure designed to protect the civil rights of Missouri gun owners.
Oct 21, 2021 9:30 PM ET
Oct 21, 2021 6:30 PM ET