This week, a federal judge struck down Missouri’s Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA). SAPA is a sanctuary law created to protect Missourians’ right to keep and bear arms from federal gun grabbers.
Ratified in 2021, SAPA prohibits state officials from enforcing federal firearms laws, and outlaws any taxes and fees imposed on guns, ammunition, or firearm accessories “not common to all other goods and services and that might reasonably be expected to create a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items.”
Gun registration, tracking, and confiscation schemes also fall under this prohibited category, as GunsAmerica previously reported.
U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes ruled on Tuesday that SAPA does not pass constitutional muster, citing the supremacy clause.
“At best, this statute causes confusion among state law enforcement officials who are deputized for federal task force operations, and at worst, is unconstitutional on its face,” Wimes wrote.
Government officials and agencies faced stiff penalties for violating SAPA, including fines of up to $50,000 per infraction.
Judge Wimes indicated that this had a chilling effect on interagency cooperation between federal, state, and local governments.
“State and local law enforcement officials in Missouri may lawfully participate in joint federal task forces, assist in the investigation and enforcement of federal firearm crimes, and fully share information with the Federal Government without fear of H.B. 85’s penalties,” wrote Wimes.
Supporters of the bill have defended it in the face of such scrutiny.
“Look, I don’t think anyone wanted to hamper or should be hampering law enforcement from working together with federal agencies or state agencies,” said Gov. Mike Parson in an Oct. 2021 interview with KCTV5 News.
“That’s not the goal of it. The goal of it is to take bad guys off the street and still respect the rights of the private citizen on the Second Amendment,” he added.
In the wake of the ruling, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey announced that he plans to file an appeal.
“As Attorney General, I will protect the Constitution, which includes defending Missourians’ fundamental right to bear arms,” Bailey said. “We are prepared to defend this statute to the highest court, and we anticipate a better result at the Eighth Circuit.”
Stay tuned for updates.