- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 17, 2022

The Biden administration sued Missouri this week over a state law that aims to upend some federal firearm restrictions.

Missouri enacted the Second Amendment Preservation Act in June, which makes it unlawful for state and local law enforcement to enforce federal laws that encroach upon the Second Amendment rights of Missourians. 

If a local and state law enforcement officer tries to enforce any federal restrictions that go beyond Missouri’s own gun laws, the officer could be sued and face up to a $50,000 fine.

The law went into effect in August.

The federal government filed a lawsuit Wednesday, asking a judge to block the law’s enforcement.

“This act impedes criminal law enforcement operations in Missouri,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland. “The United States will work to ensure that our state and local law enforcement partners are not penalized for doing their jobs to keep our communities safe.”

The complaint alleges that federal law enforcement efforts have become more difficult in the state.

“The Missouri law has had a harmful impact on public safety efforts,” the 28-page lawsuit read. 

It claims the state legislation preempts federal law in violation of the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause.

The Missouri law looks to impede federal taxes, fees, registration, tracking and possession on some firearms, ammunition and accessories, according to the lawsuit. 

Specifically, the Justice Department noted in its lawsuit the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act, both passed by Congress.

The National Firearms Act requires machine guns and certain shotguns and rifles to be regulated by the federal government. The Gun Control Act regulates license requirements. 

According to the Justice Department, roughly 80% of violent crime in Missouri is committed with a firearm.

Missouri’s Attorney General Eric Schmitt responded to the filing, calling it a “partisan lawsuit.”

“Time and again, the Biden Administration has put partisan politics ahead of public safety. Make no mistake, the law is on our side in this case, and I intend to beat the Biden administration in court once again,” Mr. Schmitt said.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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