ST. LOUIS- Less than a week after Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed a bill into law that prevents police agencies in the state from enforcing federal gun laws in an effort to protect second amendment rights, agencies are evaluating what the new statute means for them.
The bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Jered Taylor has said the law does not prevent local departments from working with federal law enforcement agencies on drug task forces, but local departments aren’t yet so sure.
“I’m still trying to seek full legal guidance to be certain, but we are being forbidden to cooperate with the federal government on gun charges,” Cape Girardeau Police Chief Wes Blair told the Southeast Missourian newspaper, adding “I don’t know that we’ll have much choice, otherwise we’ll be violating state law.”
Blair could not be reached for comment.
The Second Amendment Preservation Act voids any federal gun laws and allows a person to sue a police department for up to $50,000 if an officer infringes on someone’s Second Amendment rights.
A spokesman for the St. Louis County Police department said it was not currently evaluating the status of cooperation with federal agencies.
A spokesman for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police department said “the legal implications surrounding this legislation are evolving and we may make adjustments accordingly.”
Representative Taylor said he expects the bill to be challenged in court.
“People think that this is somehow violating the supremacy clause of the constitution which it’s not. We’re not telling the feds what they can and can’t do, we’re just telling our law enforcement in the state what they can and can’t do.”
Capitol Bureau Chief Emily Manley contributed reporting for this story.