Jackson County joins lawsuit challenging SAPA as unconstitutional

JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. – The Jackson County Legislature voted Tuesday to join a lawsuit challenging the Second Amendment Preservation Act, which was signed into law last month by Gov. Mike Parson.

Jackson County will be joining St. Louis and St. Louis County in an attempt to overturn the new law. The final vote was 5-3.

The Second Amendment Preservation Act, commonly known as SAPA and championed by Republican legislators, aims to invalidate any federal law that is found to infringe upon Missourians’ Second Amendment rights. 

The law was passed during the 2021 legislative session amid concerns of potential new restrictions on gun owners and retailers being imposed by the Biden Administration.

St. Louis and St. Louis County filed a lawsuit last month seeking to block SAPA from being implemented and cited the Supremacy Clause as their reasoning, which states that federal laws overrule state laws.

With Jackson County’s addition to the lawsuit, it seems they agree with the view that refusal to enact federal laws is unconstitutional. 

However, both Jackson County and St. Louis County have recently voted to decriminalize recreational marijuana possession of 35 grams or less, even though it is still federally illegal. 

Therefore, both counties refuse to enforce federal law on marijuana possession, which is unconstitutional based on their apparent commitment to the Supremacy Clause.

St. Louis, St. Louis County and Jackson County seem to take bigger issue with the law itself protecting Missourians’ Second Amendment rights, rather than the constitutionality of it as they claim in their lawsuit. 

When asked if he supports the County’s decision to challenge SAPA, Rep. Dan Stacy, who represents parts of Jackson County, said “No, absolutely not.”

“You need to be consistent,” he said, referencing the apparent flip-flop of Jackson County’s support of the Supremacy Clause. Stacy also wasted no time in expressing his support for SAPA, saying it “absolutely” is constitutional. 

The five Jackson County legislators that voted in support of the lawsuit were all Democrats, while two Republicans and one Democrat voted against joining the legal challenge. A timetable for the lawsuit has not been set.

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