Nixon vetoes gun laws bill
Nixon has nixed nullification.
Gov. Jay Nixon on Friday vetoed a bill that would have made national gun laws non-binding in Missouri, potentially creating legal disputes between state and federal authorities.
The bill also would have made it a crime for federal agents to try to enforce gun control laws and allowed for prosecution of anyone who publishes the name of a gun owner.
House Bill 436 declares that Missouri does not have to abide by decades-old federal laws on guns. In his veto message, Nixon wrote that the bill violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, which establishes federal law as the highest law of the land.
Nixon said the General Assembly was trying “resurrect” the concept of nullification, which he called a pre-Civil War idea.
“By seeking to declare certain federal acts null and void, (House Bill 436) seeks to turn the hierarchy of our national framework of laws on its head in clear violation of Article VI of the U.S. Constitution,” Nixon wrote.
Throughout the message, Nixon cites multiple court cases in his support of his argument, including Marbury v. Madison, the 1803 U.S. Supreme Court that ushered in the idea of judicial review, which holds that the courts have the final say over questions of constitutionality.
The bill also violates the First Amendment, Nixon wrote. The bill would have made the publication of the names of gun owners a class A misdemeanor.
“There is no shortage of unacceptable scenarios that could result from this provision,” Nixon wrote. “As one example, newspapers around the state annually publish photos of proud young Missourians who harvest their first turkey or deer. Under this bill, doing so would be a crime.” <snip>
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