In reaction to proposed federal gun control laws Missouri senator introduces “minutemen” bill

By George Wiebe, Staff Reporter

Following the mass shootings in Boulder, Colo. and Atlanta, Ga. last month, national attention focused once again around new gun legislation.

In response, Missouri state representatives proposed sweeping legislation to oppose moves by the federal government to expand gun control laws.

The Second Amendment Preservation Act passed through the Missouri House of Representatives in February.

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“This isn’t a new bill. In 2013-2014 […] they passed it through the House and Senate, [and it] went to the governor, that was Democrat [Jay] Nixon, [and he] vetoed the bill. We missed the override by one vote,” Jered Taylor (R), of the Missouri House of Representatives said.

The proposed act declares that any law passed by the federal government which infringe on the Second Amendment rights of its citizens, “must be invalid in this state.”

Under the act, state police departments could be sued for a minimum of $50,000 for enforcing those federal laws.

“The best way to get the department’s attention and to make sure that they follow this law to protect our citizens’ Second Amendment rights, is to hit them in the pocketbook,” Taylor said.

A more controversial piece of legislature, proposed by Bill White (R) of the Missouri State Senate, is S.B. 528, the bill would establish the “Missouri Minutemen.” 

On paper, the “Minutemen” are not a state militia but a force that could be called upon by the Governor to react during a “state of emergency.”

The bill requires all volunteers to “secure firearms, firearm accessories, ammunition, uniforms, equipment, and supplies necessary to perform any duties as assigned by the governor.”

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 The reality of the bill is more complicated however. Firearms and equipment would not be taxable, but it would become property of the state of Missouri.

“While you are minutemen, your firearms will, for sovereignty and jurisdiction purposes, be considered to be state property,” White said.

White argues that this would remove regulation and taxation by the U.S. government.

Missouri already has two volunteer forces, the Missouri National Guard, and the Missouri Defence force.

The bill has not been voted on by the state House or Senate, and was likely a reaction to recent legislation going through Congress.

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed two Bills in 2021 aimed at reforming background checks. 

H.R.8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, would prohibit the transfer of firearms between private parties without first having a licenced dealer/manufacturer performing background checks.

“I firmly believe in the right to keep and bear arms, legally. I’m also a strong advocate for conceal carry, and have permits myself to do so. But we have a violence problem in this country and it cannot be ignored,” Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said, following his support for H.R.8.

H.R.1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act, was written by James Clyburn (D-S.C.) who called it “an important step Congress must take to address the epidemic of gun violence in this country.”

 

Staff reporter George Wiebe can be reached at [email protected]

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