Missouri has a Republican super-majority in both its House and its Senate. Given that, you’d think that passing legislation that aligns with the Republican agenda would be a given. That isn’t true on all issues, but it was borne out this year when the legislature passed the Second Amendment Preservation Act (“SAPA”) — which was then signed into law by Missouri Governor Mike Parson on June 12, 2021.
This follows similar moves by local governments, such as Newton County, as reported by my colleague Jennifer Oliver O’Connell earlier this year.
But even SAPA’s passage was no easy feat. As noted by The Tenth Amendment Center:
In 2013, then-Governor Jay Nixon vetoed an early incarnation of the Second Amendment Preservation Act. Ultimately, the House overrode the veto but it failed in the Senate by one vote. In subsequent years, similar bills ran into insurmountable hurdles including intense law enforcement opposition and Republican leadership too squeamish to take a stand against the feds.
But activists and supporters of the Second Amendment in the Show-Me State kept pushing, and with the leadership and support of Dave Roland at the Freedom Center of Missouri, they kept improving the legislation and pressuring legislators.
So, what exactly is SAPA? In a nutshell, it’s a law that prohibits the enforcement of federal provisions that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms. More details:
The bill includes a detailed definition of actions that qualify as “infringement,” including but not limited to:
taxes and fees on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services that would have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens; registration and tracking schemes applied to firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition; any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens; any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.
The law defines a “law-abiding citizen” as “a person
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