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VICTORY FOR GUN SAFETY: Federal Court Strikes Down Missouri’s Dangerous ‘Second Amendment Preservation Act’


The Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Represented by Everytown Law, Filed an Amicus Brief in Support of a Related State Court Challenge

Decision Comes Shortly after Oregon Ruling Striking Down a So-Called “Second Amendment Sanctuary” County Ordinance Which Claimed to Nullify State and Federal Gun Laws

NEW YORK – Everytown Law announced that today, in a major win for gun safety and significant setback for the “constitutional sheriffs” movement and gun lobby agenda to undermine federal gun laws, a Federal Court has struck down Missouri’s dangerous “Second Amendment Preservation Act” which prohibits state and local officials from assisting with the enforcement of federal gun laws and fines local law enforcement agencies up to $50,000 for any violations. The Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (MOCADSV), represented by Everytown Law, filed an amicus brief supporting St. Louis’s related state court challenge.

“The court has spoken, and the verdict was clear: State lawmakers have no business undermining federal measures to keep Americans safe from gun violence,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Weakening federal gun laws is good for criminals, terrible for law enforcement, and a gross violation of the Constitution, so any states planning to follow Missouri’s lead should study this decision closely.”

“Missouri’s extreme and dangerous attempt to subvert federal firearm laws and protect domestic abusers not only put communities in danger but this ruling proves is also unconstitutional,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “While gun extremists in Missouri’s legislature continue to find new depths in their efforts to cater to the gun industry, we will continue fighting for safety.”

“This law actively undermined public safety and made it illegal and costly for local law enforcement to do their jobs of protecting their communities – and particularly domestic violence survivors who depend on federal and local law enforcement coordination to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers,” said Eric Tirschwell, executive director for Everytown Law. “This is another hit to the gun lobby’s effort to undermine federal gun safety laws and the rule of law.”

A lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice last February alleges that Missouri’s nullification law had hindered cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement in enforcing federal firearms laws. As a result of the penalties associated with the law, state and local agencies have stopped sharing critical data used to solve violent crimes and withdrawn from joint federal task forces. There was also continued backlash from law enforcement, including from a chief of police in O’Fallon, Missouri who resigned in protest to the law. Existing federal laws should have prevented the October shooting in St. Louis during which a teacher and student were killed and seven others were wounded by a student who had earlier exhibited clear warning signs and whose parents had asked law enforcement to remove his access to guns but Missouri’s Second Amendment Preservation Act prevented law enforcement from acting to disarm or arrest the shooter who said they didn’t have the authority.

This decision follows a similar recent decision from the Oregon Court of Appeals, striking down a so-called “Second Amendment Sanctuary” county ordinance that purported to nullify federal and state gun laws within the county’s borders. Everytown Law previously released a memo urging the Department of Justice to take action regarding an Arkansas law that also purports to nullify federal gun laws.

Everytown Law is the litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, which is part of Everytown for Gun Safety.