Missouri Defies the Feds on Gun Control

Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo. (fotoguy22/Getty Images)
Federal law trumps state law, but states don’t have to enforce it — which is why this measure should be upheld.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE ‘L et the good of the people be the supreme law,” reads Missouri’s state motto. Sounds nice, but under the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause, it’s federal law that reigns supreme, “and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.”

That’s why a new Missouri law prohibiting state and local officials from enforcing certain federal gun laws has sparked a growing controversy. With President Biden under increasing pressure to undertake sweeping new gun-control measures, Missouri enacted H.B. 85, which purports to make it illegal for state and local officials

Mario Loyola — Mr. Loyola is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and director of the Environmental Finance and Risk Management program of Florida International University.


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