Missouri governor vetoes bill that would have nullified federal gun laws
July 5th, 2013
04:26 PM ET
9 months ago

Missouri governor vetoes bill that would have nullified federal gun laws

(CNN) - Missouri's Democratic governor vetoed legislation Friday that sought to make federal gun laws unenforceable in the state.

In a carefully worded statement that prominently addressed his pro-gun bona fides in a state Mitt Romney carried 54% to President Obama's 44% in 2012, Gov. Jay Nixon argued that the legislation violated a provision in the U.S. Constitution called the Supremacy Clause. The Supremacy Clause gives preference to federal laws over state laws.

Called House Bill 436, the legislation cleared the Republican-controlled state Senate and House with huge majorities, 26-6 in the Senate and 116-38 in the House. It sought to make any federal legislation past, present and future "that infringe on the people's right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment" null and void in the state of Missouri.

Multiple states like Ohio, Minnesota and Texas have pursued similar bills in recent months in reaction to attempts at federal gun control legislation in the wake of the December shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. That legislative push fell short of the 60 votes it needed to move forward in the U.S. Senate, although supporters have vowed to take it back up.

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The Missouri bill would have also made it illegal to publish any information about a gun owner, in response to a controversy spurred by a newspaper in New York state that printed the names and addresses of numerous local residents who had firearms permits.

"This unnecessary and unconstitutional attempt to nullify federal laws would have violated Missourians' First Amendment right to free speech – while doing nothing to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners," Nixon said in the statement. "In fact, under this bill, newspaper editors around the state that annually publish photos of proud young Missourians who harvest their first turkey or deer could be charged with a crime."

In the same statement, Nixon touted his signing of House Bill 533, which expands some gun rights, including allowing state workers to keep firearms in their cars while on state property.

Nixon made sure Missouri voters understand he is a friend of firearms, clearly trying to stave off any attacks painting him as an opponent of Second Amendment rights. "The Governor has consistently signed bills expanding the rights of gun owners in Missouri," the statement says, including by lowering the minimum age to obtain a permit to carry concealed firearms in the state.

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State House Speaker Tim Jones, a Repblican, reacted with shock to the veto and vowed to override it. The governor "generally has been an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment. I think he made a political, calculated move to veto House Bill 436," Jones said in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio. "I really don't know what got to him other than special interest groups on the left."


Filed under: Gun control • Missouri
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. rs

    Well, duh. That one would have would up in Court PDQ, and the state would have lost- and likely set some interesting precidents for the future.

    July 5, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. LS

    RS, yes it would have, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that, except for Mr Jones, apparently.

    July 5, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. rs

    LS- Indeed.

    I thinks Jones' line goes something like: "our special interest groups are better than their special interest groups".

    July 5, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. jboh

    Sorry TEA/GOP cry-babies. You lost the war of southern treason, and the last election. Your temper tantrums show you for what you really are. Real American patriots will show you the door in 2014 even bigger than in 2012. 'bye 'bye.

    July 5, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    This nation's dire need to have a total Gun-Ban Laws. Period.

    July 5, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  6. LDH2O

    "I really don't know what got to him other than special interest groups on the left." – OR maybe it just was a violation of the Supremacy Clause, I guess Tim Jones just stuck his head in the sand and refused to believe what the Govenor said.

    July 5, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    Well over 80% of Americans (Dems, Repubs and Independents) WANT reasonable gun control legislation, including background checks on all gun sales (how else are you going to tell which ones are the "good guys" and which are the "bad guys"?).

    Why doesn't the NRA accept this? Oh, yeah, profit uber alles ... I forgot ...

    July 5, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  8. Johny

    Missouri is becoming just as stupid as Kansas

    July 5, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. Tim

    Another rogue Democrat thwarting the will of the people. Pathetic.

    July 5, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  10. Rick L

    As a citizen of Missouri, I am glad to see this. The Supremacy Clause is too often ignored. You want to be part of the Union? Then it applies. It is not supposed to apply only when certain people want it to. Of course, our legislature accomplished absolutely nothing this session, and has been accurately described in our local media as "a bunch of frat boys" and "orbiting the moons of Saturn." They appeared to be more concerned with making political statements than actually doing anything. Of course, the citizens are stuck with the bills for the session. And they knew perfectly well this gun law violated the Supremacy Clause when the passed it.

    July 5, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  11. MM

    Yes, it likely violates the Supremacy Clause. Kind of silly to think otherwise. However, you are not allowed to do an outright ban on guns. D.C. learned this the hard way because they went up to the Supreme Court and lost. End result – no outright ban, but states can regulate to a certain extent.

    July 5, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  12. Al

    Responsible gun owners want background checks and other reasonable laws too. Those who use guns for violence sully the reputations of responsible gun owners.

    As for the Supremacy Clause, well it won't go away, and a law that directly says "Federal Law does not apply in our state" is an insult to the intelligence of anyone who realizes it will be overturned ASAP by a Federal court.

    July 5, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  13. popseal

    It's really great that faux messiah is on top of things. The oceans are receding, politics are cleaned up, and best of all human nature has been fixed. Joe 'shotgun' Biden is now the second smartest guy in the country. I feel so much better with progressive/Marxist leadership as we hurtle on to Third World status and submission to the United Nations. Now if the government cheese truck run on time, it will be a welfare paradise from sea to receding shining sea.

    July 5, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  14. Gret Michum

    the extremely dumb Speaker Tim Jones, of course a Republican, confessed that he does not understand why the Governor vetoed the dorky bill.
    It is now time that someones explain to the extremely dumb Speaker Tim Jones that the reason is the fact that the bill is really bad.

    However I do not hold my breath that the extremely dumb Speaker would grasp anything.

    July 5, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  15. tony

    If you follow the "logic" of the NRA claim "that guns don't kill people, people kill people", then the 2nd Amendment is of no purpose or value whatsoever..

    July 5, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  16. Chris

    I hope you guys that want this previously defeated gun control bill to pass don't ever let your friends borrow a firearm to go shooting with, or dare let someone else shoot your weapon even for a moment at the range. If you do you will are committing a crime technically a felony.

    That bill was a joke. 90% of Americans didn't want this bill to be passed. That was just an Obama lie. Countless polls done both prior and after the defeat of this bill show that support isn't anywhere close to even a bit of a majority much less 90%. More lies by Obama.

    I am so sick and tired of the hypocrisy and stupidity of gun control advocates.

    July 5, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  17. Jon

    The goverment can not legaly restrict gun owner ship. What part of " Shall not infringe" of the second amendment do you not understand.

    July 5, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  18. Mack

    All of this over guns. Wow, talk about paranoid.

    July 5, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  19. WeirdMN

    Hopefully, they can override his veto and then vote him out in the next election.

    July 5, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  20. TBone

    The "Show-Me" state Govenor shows that every once in a while, common sense still can trump bought-off rubes.

    July 5, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  21. mantle5050

    Evidently Missouri is trying hard to replace Texas as the dumbest state in the union.

    July 5, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  22. elsewhere

    Time is coming when liberals will be considered more dangerous than guns.

    July 5, 2013 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  23. Thom

    Correct....... pro gun legislators need to be careful what nonsense they try to pass that play right into the anti-gun lobby's hands. Also....need to understand that if Texas goes blue like Cruz says it will, there will never be another GOP president for a long time......Yankees and Californians moving to Texas by the Groves because of home prices there..

    July 5, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  24. mogran

    We've enough gun laws already...none needed whether you like it or not...liberal crybabies need to get over yourselves...nobody's listening

    July 5, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  25. Ron L

    It is a relief to see a governor stand up for what is right. America is in desperate need of a reasonable tightening of background checks and reduction in the size of clips to 10 rounds. Over 70% of America was in favor of the background checks and it still failed. It was a clear sign that the Congress no longer cares what the majority of our electorate wants. In some ways our country has lost its way. We can only hope that sanity and moderation returns in the near future.

    July 5, 2013 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
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