It looks like Missouri is about to order the federal government to butt out in terms of gun laws. The state legislature appears to have the votes to override the governor's veto of a bill that nullifies all federal gun legislation, reports the New York Times. (The AP talks to several Democrats who confirm they will bow to their constituents' wishes on the matter and vote against their party's own governor next month.) Even if the legislation becomes law, however, critics don't think it stands a chance in the courts. Backers say an important principle is at stake: "It’s probably one of the best states’ rights issues that the country’s got going right now,” says a state GOP party official.
The legislation not only declares federal gun laws to be null and void within the state's borders, it actually makes it illegal for federal agents to try to enforce them. In fact, state residents would be able to sue the arresting officer. The measure also makes it illegal for journalists to print the names of gun owners, calling to mind controversies like this one. A quote from a Democratic lawmaker pretty much sums things up: “We love our guns and we love hunting. It’s not worth the fight for me to vote against it." But, he adds, "the bill is completely unconstitutional, so the courts are going to have to throw it out.” (Read more Missouri stories.)