Missouri legislators take on federal gun laws

by Reid Wilson, The Washington Post  |  published on September 10, 2013

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Members of the Missouri legislature could give citizens the right to sue any law enforcement officer who enforces federal gun laws when they return to Jefferson City for a special session this week.

The legislature will vote on whether to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s (D) veto of a bill that would prohibit the state from recognizing federal gun laws. The measure also would prohibit publication of the names and addresses of firearm owners, information some newspapers published in the wake of last year’s school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The bill passed both the state House and Senate by wide margins. Republicans hold 109 of the state House’s 163 seats and 24 of 34 Senate seats, though a few rural Democrats joined the majority too.

But in July, Nixon vetoed the bill, calling it an “unnecessary and unconstitutional attempt to nullify federal laws.” The prohibition on publishing names of gun owners, Nixon said, could conceivably be used to sue a reporter writing about a candidate for office, if that person owned a firearm, or a newspaper that publishes a photograph of a teenager after his or her first turkey hunt.

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