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(Video Credit: KMBC 9)
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is vowing to duke it out in court with the Biden administration over a lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice attempting to block the state from negating many federal firearms laws that infringe on citizens’ Second Amendment rights.
Schmitt described the move as a Washington-led attack on Missourian’s constitutional rights, according to Daily Mail. Missouri House Bill 85, better known as the Second Amendment Preservation Act, was signed into law in June and went into effect in August. It prohibits local law enforcement agencies from enforcing federal gun laws and has the government fearing that other states may follow their lead.
Schmitt blasted the Justice Department’s move and accused President Joe Biden of a “partisan lawsuit” which “seeks to attack Missourians’ Second Amendment rights.”
The state attorney general went on to allege that the federal government was trying to end Missouri’s own crime reduction measures, including the Safer Streets Initiative, which was launched by Schmitt and has funneled funding towards prosecutions.
🚨Biden’s DOJ is attacking Missourians’ #2A rights & halting the Safer Streets Initiative we started with Trump’s US Attorneys resulting in 650+ charges & 98% conviction rate. Biden’s playing politics with public safety & undermining #2A rights. We’ll beat Biden in court again. https://t.co/elTGx2bvLg
— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) February 16, 2022
“Unfortunately, the Biden DOJ has used this lawsuit as a pretext for them to pull the plug on our successful and innovative federal-state crime-fighting partnership, the Safer Streets Initiative,” Schmitt asserted in a statement.
“Since I launched the Safer Streets Initiative in 2019, we’ve filed over 650 charges against nearly 390 defendants with a conviction rate of roughly 98%. My Office has fought to continue the initiative, but this initiative has been suspended solely because of the Biden Administration’s actions,” he added.
Through our Safer Streets Initiative, we've filed over 650 charges against nearly 400 defendants. Because of the Biden DOJ's partisan lawsuit, that initiative has been suspended. We will stand strong for Missourians' 2A rights. https://t.co/LtsuPG91au
— Attorney General Eric Schmitt (@AGEricSchmitt) February 16, 2022
“Time and again, the Biden administration has put partisan politics ahead of public safety,” Schmitt declared. “Make no mistake, the law is on our side in this case, and I intend to beat the Biden administration in court once again.”
Schmitt also said in a statement that the lawsuit was an attempt by the Biden administration to get around a potentially unfavorable ruling in the state supreme court.
“After their disastrous arguments in the Missouri Supreme Court last week, the Biden Department of Justice has now filed yet another partisan lawsuit that seeks to attack Missourians’ Second Amendment rights,” he said.
The Republican governor of Missouri, Mike Parson, noted that the bill “prohibits state and local cooperation with federal officials that attempt to enforce any laws, rules, orders, or actions that violate the Second Amendment rights of Missourians.”
(Video Credit: This Week in Missouri Politics)
“This act impedes criminal law enforcement operations in Missouri,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland declared in a statement. “The United States will work to ensure that our state and local law enforcement partners are not penalized for doing their jobs to keep our communities safe.”
“A state cannot simply declare federal laws invalid,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton proclaimed according to The Missouri Times. “This act makes enforcement of federal firearms laws difficult and strains the important law enforcement partnerships that help keep violent criminals off the street.”
In a complaint that was filed on Wednesday, the DOJ alleged that Missouri House Bill 85 was “invalid” under the Supremacy Clause, which prohibits state governments from passing laws that do not correspond with federal laws.
The Justice Department issued a propagandist statement that claims federal law enforcement agencies within the state are reporting that enforcement of federal firearms laws in Missouri has grown more difficult since the law went into effect.
In the General Assembly, the bill was championed by Republican Rep. Jered Taylor and Sen. Eric Burlison.
“I think the DOJ realized how weak their arguments in front of the Missouri Supreme Court were and they know they were going to lose. As I’ve said all along, we expected that there would be a federal lawsuit filed, and we would likely end up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court,” Taylor told The Missouri Times.
“I am just as confident today as I was last year that we drafted this bill in a constitutional manner, and we will prevail. The DOJ is mad that Missouri refuses to participate in the Biden administration’s tyrannical gun control policies, and I’m proud to have led the fight for Missouri gun owners. I encourage other Republican-controlled states to pass similar legislation and fight back against federal overreach,” he concluded.
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