Supreme Court will not reinstate Missouri gun law aimed at federal gun restrictions

October 22, 2023
Robert Ayers

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court have decided not to reinstate a Missouri law that stops authorities from enforcing federal gun laws, Fox News reports

The law at issue, here, is called the Second Amendment Preservation Act.

"The law would fine an officer $50,000 if one knowingly enforced federal gun laws that don't align with the state's own restrictions," the Washington Examiner reports.

The outlet adds, "Federal laws that lack congruence with ones on the books in Missouri include registration and tracking requirements, as well as possession of firearms by some domestic violence offenders."

The legal history of the case

According to Fox, the administration of President Joe Biden brought a lawsuit against Missouri in 2022 in an attempt to block the implementation of the Second Amendment Preservation Act. And, the administration, thus far, has succeeded in its effort.

The Examiner reports:

The 2019 law in question . . . was ruled unconstitutional by a district judge in response to a Biden administration lawsuit, though the judge allowed it to remain in effect. A federal appeals court later blocked enforcement while the state appeals the district court's decision.

The matter, most recently, was taken to the U.S. Supreme Court. "The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday declined to reinstate a Missouri law that bars authorities from enforcing federal gun laws," Fox reports.

The justices did not explain why they decided against hearing the emergency appeal.

The Biden administration has been arguing that Missouri's law is a violation of the U.S. Constitution's Supremacy Clause. NBC News reports:

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, representing the Biden administration, said in her response that the law is “patently unconstitutional” in part because the supremacy clause “precludes a state from nullifying or interposing obstacles to federal law.”

"A purely procedure"

What has to be made clear, here, is that none of this means that Missouri has lost on the ultimate merits of the case.

The argument, thus far, has been about whether Missouri's law ought to remain in effect while its constitutionality is being litigated. Missouri has lost on this issue. The case, though, is still being heard on its merits.

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R) emphasized this fact in a statement that he released after the justices of the Supreme Court decided not to hear his emergency appeal.

"Today's SCOTUS ruling on SAPA was a purely procedural matter. We remain undeterred in our defense of Missourians’ Second Amendment rights. @POTUS, see you at the Eighth Circuit," Bailey wrote.

It is unclear, at the time of this writing, when this next court appearance will take place.

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