ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- As disputes over the new Missouri gun law continue to heat up, St. Louis City and St. Louis County filed a joint lawsuit Monday in Cole County Circuit Court, seeking to block the newly-signed House Bill 85, termed the "Second Amendment Preservation Act."
Missouri Governor Mike Parson recently signed the bill into law. The Associated Press reports the law would "subject law enforcement agencies with officers who knowingly enforce federal gun laws to a fine of about $50,000 per violating officer. The law also declares that any federal laws, executive orders or other federal regulations to track or take away firearms from law-abiding citizens will be considered void in Missouri."
In a statement to News 4, Parson responded to news of the lawsuit by saying:
“The Second Amendment Preservation Act is about protecting law-abiding Missourians against government overreach and unconstitutional federal mandates," Governor Parson said. "We will reject any attempt by the federal government to circumvent the fundamental right Missourians have to keep and bear arms to protect themselves and their property. Throughout my career, I have always stood for the Constitution and our Second Amendment rights, and that will not change today or any day."
The joint release from the city and county says the legislation makes Missouri a sanctuary state for gun violence, and unconstitutionally hampers law enforcement.
“2020 was the deadliest year of gun violence in our state’s history, and now the Missouri legislature is throwing up barriers to stop police from doing their most important job —preventing and solving violent crime,” said St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones in the release. “This harmful and unconstitutional law takes away tools our communities need to prevent gun violence. I’m proud to partner with St. Louis County in this effort to protect our region and stop this law.”
The police chief of the O'Fallon, Missouri police department resigned on Friday, citing the newly-signed House Bill 85, termed as "Second Amendment Preservation Act."
O'Fallon Police Chief Phillip Dupuis recently resigned citing the bill as the cause, saying, ""This vague language will create a flood of weaponized litigation that will chill the legitimate peace keeping duties of police."
In a press release, Dupuis said every police department in the country seizes weapons during arrests in criminal cases or when officers feel threatened or want to protect someone from committing suicide. This statue would allow citizens to sue the officer if they think it "infringed upon their Second Amendment rights."
“This new law is like the state holding out a sign that says ‘Come Commit Gun Violence Here,’” said St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page. “We can’t expect people to stay in St. Louis or to move their businesses here if we don’t do everything we can to reduce gun violence in the region, but this new law sends the opposite message to our residents and business community.”
St. Louis City and County are seeking an injunction, but ultimately hope to overturn the law on constitutional grounds. They are arguing that HB 85 is in violation of the U.S. Constitution Supremacy Clause, which states federal law preempts state law.
In a statement issued to News 4 Monday, a spokesperson from the office of Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said:
"At the same time they’re attempting to defund the police, progressive politicians have filed this partisan lawsuit in an attempt to infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law abiding Missourians. We will continue our efforts to prosecute violent crime, and we will not shy away from defending the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens.”