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Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoes bill to moot federal gun laws

- The Washington Times - Friday, July 5, 2013

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a bill on Friday that would have criminalized the enforcement of some federal gun laws in the state.

The bill also would have handed out jail time for reporters who published the names of gun owners, The Associated Press reported.

Republicans had pushed the bill hard, in response to perceived federal attempts to crack down on Second Amendment rights. But the governor said the bill — which passed both sides of the state legislature — would have conflicted with the U.S. Constitution's supremacy clause. The clause is generally regarded as giving the federal government the upper hand in laws that conflict with states.

Mr. Nixon also saw the bill as a violation of First Amendment freedom of speech rights, AP reported.

"Under this bill, newspaper editors around the state that annually publish photos of proud young Missourians who harvest their first turkey or deer could be charged with a crime," he said.

The bill would have made it a misdemeanor for federal authorities to try to enforce gun laws that "infringe on the people's rights to keep and bear arms."

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