Having failed to bar federal agents from enforcing gun regulations in Missouri, conservative lawmakers are trying a new tack this year: banding together with other like-minded states to defy federal laws simultaneously, reports the Associated Press. Supporters believe it will be more difficult for the federal government to shrug off such statutes if more states act together. Missouri's latest proposal, introduced last, would attempt to ify certain federal gun control regulations from being enforced in the state and subject law enforcement officers to criminal and civil penalties for carrying out such policies.
The state's Republican-led legislature came one vote shy of overriding Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of such a measure last year. This year's bill adds a new twist, delaying the effective date for several years to allow time for other states to join. “We continue to see the federal government overreach their rightful bounds, and if we can create a situation where we have some unity among states, then I think it puts us in a better position to make that argument,” said Republican Sen. Brian Nieves. Courts have consistently said that states cannot ify federal laws, but that hasn't stopped states from trying. Last year, a federal appeals court struck down a 2009 Montana law that sought to prohibit federal regulation of guns that were manufactured in the state and remained within its borders.