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 In some cases, police departments have withdrawn their officers from task forces led by federal law enforcement agencies.
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.
Since the law was passed, 12 of 53 state and local officers with federal deputizations have withdrawn from ATF task forces, Winston wrote in court documents.By pulling state and local officers from the task forces, the bureau “is no longer able to fulfill its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.