JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – As the final minutes of the 2021 legislative session dwindled down on Friday, lawmakers in the Missouri House passed a bill aimed at protecting Missourians’ Second Amendment rights.
HB 85, sponsored by Rep. Jered Taylor, establishes the “Second Amendment Preservation Act” (SAPA) and aims to invalidate any federal law that is found to infringe upon Missourians’ Second Amendment rights – and it passed in the last hour of the 2021 session.
The bill intends to nullify any federal regulations that would restrict the manufacture, ownership, or use of firearms, firearm accessories or ammunition. The law also plans to invalidate any federal regulations that impose a tax on firearms, require registration or tracking of firearms or their owners, or order the confiscation of firearms.
Additionally, SAPA will make it illegal for any officer of the state, political subdivision, or state employee to enforce or attempt to enforce any federal laws, orders, or rules infringing on the right to keep and bear arms. Any person or entity who knowingly acts to deprive a Missouri citizen of their Second Amendment rights is to be liable for redress of up to $50,000.
Proponents of the bill expressed concerns over the Biden Administration’s rhetoric toward gun ownership and are expecting attempts by the Administration to restrict the Second Amendment.
“The fact of the matter is, [assault weapons] should be illegal, period,” Biden said during a CNN interview in 2019. “Look, the Second Amendment doesn’t say you can’t restrict the kinds of weapons people can own.”
Biden has also expressed support for a government mandated buy-back program of all “assault rifles”. After an unprecedented number of executive orders in his first 100 days in office, many legislators have claimed comments like those are exactly why Missouri needed laws such as SAPA – to protect Missourians’ rights from blanket orders by the White House.
“I think [Biden] is definitely going to go as far as he can go with an executive order to restrict Second Amendment rights and put more burdens on gun owners,” Taylor told The Heartlander. “He’s definitely willing to do that and he’s shown that he’s willing to do that.”
“I think I know better what’s going on in Missouri than some out of control congressman from California or Illinois,” Taylor continued. “I know what gun policy our state wants and I think it should be left up to the states to decide. Let Missourians decide what gun policy we want in Missouri.”
The Senate handler of the bill, Sen. Eric Burlison, said he feels “ecstatic” about SAPA passing and said it puts Missouri at the forefront of states protecting Second Amendment rights.
“Missouri is now, I would say, the best state in the nation to be a firearm owner,” Burlison told The Heartlander. “Missouri is leading the nation when it comes to Second Amendment issues. And because of that, I have received calls and emails from lawmakers from around the country who are looking for help in modeling what we’ve done in Missouri.”
“At the end of the day, individual Missourians know that they’re not going to have people from their sheriff’s office or police office trying to knock their doors down to round up their firearms.”
Missourians can expect SAPA to be signed soon by Gov. Parson. An emergency clause was also adopted to the bill after its passage, so it will take effect immediately after it’s signed into law.