Gun Rights and Nullification

Gun Rights and Nullification



MO POISED TO ENACT AGGRESSIVE GUN-RIGHTS LAW: President Obama's push for tougher gun restrictions following the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on Dec. 14 spawned the "nullification" movement, the legislative invalidation of federal gun restrictions in pro-gun rights states. But the measure passed this year by Missouri's General Assembly — HB 436 — is one of the most far-reaching, not only nullifying all federal gun laws in the state but also making it a crime for federal agents to enforce them there and allowing any Missourian arrested under federal firearm charges to sue the arresting officer.

Gov. Jay Nixon (D) vetoed the bill in May, explaining that the federal government's supremacy over the states was "as logically sound as it is legally well established" and pointing out that one of the measure's provisions would even make Missouri newspapers' tradition of publishing the photos of "proud young Missourians who harvest their first turkey or deer" a crime.

Democratic state Rep. Jacob Hummel, the minority floor leader, was more outspoken on the issue, saying that taking up time to vote on bills that are destined to end up failing in the courts was "a waste of taxpayers' money."

"We're elected to serve the citizens of the state of Missouri, at the state level," he said. "We were not elected to tell the federal government what to do — that's why we have Congressional elections."

But the legislative votes in favor of the bill were overwhelming; all but one of the 109 Republicans and 11 Democrats in the House and all 24 Republicans in the Senate supported it. And when the General Assembly convenes again this month, nearly every Republican and a dozen Democrats appear likely to vote to override the governor's veto. (NEW YORK TIMES, STATE NET)

— Compiled by KOREY CLARK

GOVERNORS IN BRIEF: NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie (R) refused to sign a trio of gun control measures passed by Garden State lawmakers, including one banning a particular rifle that he had called for himself in previous legislation. Christie sent two of the measures back to lawmakers asking for changes and vetoed the third bill (AB 3659) outright (STAR-LEDGER [NEWARK]).

POTPOURRI: ILLINOIS Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signs HB 1189, which requires gun sellers, including private parties, to perform a background check on all gun buyers prior to a sale. The law also requires gun owners to report all lost or stolen guns to authorities (REUTERS, ILLINOIS GOVERNOR'S OFFICE).

— Compiled by RICH EHISEN

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