On Friday, Missouri’s Democratic governor, Jay Nixon, stood his ground versus Missouri’s bought-and-paid-for NRA stooges, vetoing legislation that would have made it a crime for law-enforcement agents to enforce federal gun laws in the state and could have put journalists in jail simply for publishing photos or names of gun owners–even those who consented so they could display their hunting kills.
As a justification for his veto, the Democratic governor correctly stated that the bill violated the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, which gives preference to any and all federal laws that are in conflict with state laws. In addition, he made it clear that the bill also infringed on the First Amendment rights of the free speech of the press.
While supporters of the legislation are championing it as one of the most Second Amendment-friendly bills ever passed by a state legislature, other Missourians were dubious of the provisions it contained–including invalidating a 1934 federal law that imposes a tax on transferring machine guns or silencers, making it a crime to publish the names and photos of hunters displaying their game and allowing school teachers and administrators with concealed gun permits and special training to double as “school protection officers” capable of carrying hidden guns into schools. It also would have lowered the concealed carry permit age to 19 instead of the current 21.
“Under this bill, newspaper editors around the state that annually publish photos of proud young Missourians who harvest their first turkey or deer could be charged with a crime,” the governor said in a written statement announcing the veto.
In order to override Gov. Nixon’s veto when they return to session in September, Missouri legislators would need a two-thirds vote in both chambers, a tall order in today’s divided political scene.
This is precisely the type of unconstitutional and ill-advised gun bill being pushed across many state legislatures as well as in the halls of Congress by the Republican Party. Thank you, Governor Nixon, for standing up to them and doing what’s right to keep your constituents safe.