After the Missouri State Senate defeated an attempt to override Governor Jay Nixon's veto of House Bill 436, Mayors Francis Slay of St. Louis, Harold Sanger of Clayton, and Shelley Welsch of University City – members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns – issued the statement below:
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., Sept. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "This week, the Missouri State Senate defeated an attempt to override Governor Jay Nixon's veto of a dangerous law that would have forbidden state and federal authorities from enforcing federal firearms law. As members of the national, bipartisan coalition Mayors Against Illegal Guns, we applaud Governor Nixon for vetoing this reckless legislation, Attorney General Chris Koster for taking a stand against the bill, and the Senate for rejecting an attempt to override the governor's veto. As mayors, we know too well that gun violence has ravaged communities across our great state. In addition to being irresponsible and illegal, this bill would have left our cities and towns ever more vulnerable. We hope lawmakers respect the outcome of this vote and do not attempt to revive this dangerous bill in future sessions. We must strengthen our state gun laws and call for common-sense reform in Washington, not try to roll back fundamental protections and block future laws from taking effect. The defeat of HB 436, a reckless bill that endangered public safety, is a victory for Missouri."
House Bill 436 would have declared null and void federal laws regulating firearms, making it a criminal offense for federal officers to enforce those laws in Missouri. The bill was so extreme that it tried to undo landmark federal legislation prohibiting gun ownership by felons, domestic abusers, and the severely mentally ill.
Moreover, the bill was unconstitutional. The Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution bars states from contravening federal law and interfering with United States officials. After Kansas passed similar legislation this spring, the Department of Justice wrote to inform Governor Brownback that the bill was superseded and federal agencies would ignore it.
HB 436 would have been a major step backward, tying the hands of law enforcement even as Missouri faces high crime rates—including 30 percent more firearm suicides than the national average and 58 percent more law enforcement officers killed with handguns.
About Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Since its creation in April 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from 15 members to more than 1,000 mayors from across the country. The coalition has more than 1.5 million grassroots supporters, making it the largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization in the country. Co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has united the nation's mayors around these common goals: protecting communities by holding gun offenders accountable; demanding access to crime gun trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat gun trafficking; and working with legislators to fix weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other dangerous people to get guns. Learn more at www.MayorsAgainstIllegalGuns.org.
Alex Katz: email@example.com or 212-788-7617
SOURCE Mayors Against Illegal Guns