Administration

DOJ warns Missouri officials state can't ignore federal gun laws

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is warning Missouri state officials that they can't ignore federal gun laws, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

In a letter obtained by the news service, DOJ officials said the U.S. Constitution's Supremacy Clause outweighed a new state statute that prohibits police from enforcing gun laws.

The DOJ argued that the state doesn't have the authority to prevent law enforcement from carrying out their duties and to shield citizens and businesses from facing consequences.

"The public safety of the people of the United States and citizens of Missouri is paramount," acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton said in the letter.

Boynton added that the new law threatens to ruin the relationship between local and federal authorities.

Gov. Mike Parson (R) signed into law on Saturday legislation that prohibits state police from enforcing federal gun laws. An officer who violates the law will face a $50,000 fine.

In a statement with Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) on Thursday, Parson said he 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," Parson added.

The Hill has reached out to the Department of Justice for comment.

State Democrats argued that the new law is unconstitutional and that it wouldn't pass in a court challenge, the AP reported.

Six GOP-led states have passed legislation that lifts some restrictions on concealed carry permit requirements, motivated by the Biden administration's more restrictive approach on gun laws, according to the AP.

Updated at 4:56 p.m.

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