Missouri’s Federal Gun Law Nullification Bill May Return in 2014 with Changes

(AP) – Seven weeks after thwarting a veto override attempt on a highly publicized gun bill, a Missouri Senate leader put forth a pared-back proposal Thursday that still seeks to nullify some federal gun control laws but stops short of criminalizing federal agents.

Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard had pledged to work on a revised plan after he and Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey split from the rest of the Republican caucus to defeat a veto override attempt of the gun legislation in September. At the time, they cited concerns about the constitutionality of the bill.

The new draft still attempts to declare void any federal policies that “infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms,” but it deletes wording that could have allowed state misdemeanor charges to be filed against federal agents for attempting to enforce certain federal gun control laws.

It also limits the proposed circumstances in which people could sue police and prosecutors for enforcing those gun laws and drops a provision that could have subjected journalists to misdemeanor charges for publishing the identities of gun owners.

“The original bill had great intent, but there were some language problems that kept local law enforcement (from being able) to work with federal authorities on bad guys with guns,” said Richard, of Joplin.

Richard said he posted the revised plan on his website Thursday so that people can review it and recommend any changes before pre-filing of bills for the 2014 session begins in December.

The gun legislation “will be the first bill Tom is going to send to committee, and it will be the first bill that we do on the floor and we’ll stay on it until we get it done,” Richard said.

In September, a 109-49 vote by the Republican-led House barely met the minimum two-thirds majority needed to override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the gun legislation. But the Republican-led Senate’s subsequent 22-12 vote fell a single vote shy of the mark needed to complete the override.

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