Five legislators hold the fate of SAPA, the Second Amendment Preservation Act in their hands.
That’s how many members of an 8 person committee are needed to sign a Conference Committee Report that will take most of the teeth out of HB 1439 and send if back to the Senate, where it will probably die.
Right now, it looks like at least 5 of them are probably going to recommend to the House and Senate that they remove the strongest enforcement clause from the bill. If they do, our only hope would be for Senator Nieves, the Senate handler of the bill, to refuse to make a motion to accept the Conference Committee Report, or for the House or Senate to vote the report down and go back to the stronger bill.
I’m hoping you will send an email to help convince the Conference Committee to just let the House pass the stronger bill without amendment. Please see the ACTION ITEM, below.
What’s This All About?
The frustrating thing for me is that it’s the House sponsor of the bill, Rep. Doug Funderburk, who wants to take most of the teeth (the “ineligibility clause”) out of the bill. Doug says he’s afraid that unless we weaken the bill, one particular Republican senator will vote “no” if a veto override is needed next September.
While it’s true that the senator he’s concerned about IS a potential no vote on override, this senator voted FOR the bill WITH the ineligibility clause in it just 10 days ago. This same senator voted FOR the veto override last September.
I think when push comes to shove, he will vote in favor of the 2nd Amendment again.
In my opinion, it would be better to leave the bill strong and take a chance of failing than pass a weak bill that certainly falls short of protecting our rights!
This is the time to stand like men, and demand REAL gun rights and state’s rights protection in this bill!
A Matter of Honor
Just this week, six of the legislators on the Conference Committee voted for SJR 36, a great constitutional amendment that includes this statement:
“That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms… shall be unalienable. …the state of Missouri shall be obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement.”
Passing HB 1439 (SAPA) with the teeth intact is the first opportunity those six legislators will have to demonstrate that they really DO think they have an obligation to “uphold these rights”!
I will be reporting who signed the weak Conference Committee Report and who stood like men. Go here to see how the votes have been so far: http://www.libertytools.org/BillTracking/bills.php?bill_id=18&Bill_Action_id=52
ACTION ITEM The Conference Committee
|Sen. Bob Dixon||Springfieldemail@example.com|
|Rep. Michael Frame||Eureka||Michael.Frame@house.mo.gov|
|Rep. Douglas Funderburk||St Peters||Doug.Funderburk@house.mo.gov|
|Rep. Ronald Hicks||St Peters||Ron.Hicks@house.mo.gov|
|Sen. Jason Holsman||Kansas city||Jason.Holsman@senate.mo.gov|
|Sen. Jolie Justus||Kansas city||Jolie.Justus@senate.mo.gov|
|Sen. Brian Munzlinger||Williamstown||Brian.Munzlinger@senate.mo.gov|
|Sen. Brian Nieves||Washington||Brian.Nieves@senate.mo.gov|
Please send them each an email, asking them to vote “NO” on the Conference Committee Report and pass HB 1439 with the “ineligibility clause” in it, just as it was passed by the Senate.
Also send your own Rep an email, asking him or her to fight to keep the teeth in SAPA!
If my records are correct, your Rep is:
What’s So Important About The “Ineligibility Clause”
The “ineligibility clause” in HB 1439 is the most important enforcement provision in the bill.
It’s designed to prevent federal officials who would infringe on your gun rights from accessing state resources as well as provide personal disincentive to those federal officials.
In addition to the “ineligibility clause”, SAPA includes a “private cause of action” provision that gives legal standing for any victim of 2nd Amendment infringement. Such a civil suit against an agent or agency does not depend on government doing their job, as would be the case with criminal charges.
However, because of something called “Supremacy Clause immunity”, civil suits and criminal charges, are almost impossible to make stick against federal officials. That’s where the “ineligibility clause” comes in.
The “ineligibility clause” simply says that any federal official who violates the Missouri Second Amendment Preservation Act shall be forever ineligible to hold a Missouri law-enforcement job.
Read the actual language here: http://www.mofirst.org/?page=issues/nullification/SAPA/HB1439-Detailed.php?tab=1.470
About Supremacy Clause Immunity
Supremacy Clause immunity is a contrived legal defense afforded federal agents when they break state laws in the performance of their federal duty.
If there were, for instance, a federal ban on rifles with detachable magazines, that ban would violate Missouri’s Second Amendment Preservation Act. If a federal agent came to your house to confiscate such a rifle, and if you sued him for violating the Act, he would claim Supremacy Clause immunity, the case would automatically go to federal court, and you would likely lose.
Federal Agents seldom act without help from state law-enforcement. If a Missouri cop helps to confiscate your rifle, under SAPA you could sue him and his office – and prevail. But if that same Missouri cop allows himself to be deputized by the feds, he can skate around Missouri law and enjoy Supremacy Clause immunity.
The “Ineligibility Clause” In Action
That’s where SAPA’s “ineligibility clause” comes in.
What do you think? If a federal official breaks Missouri law and hides behind a contrived doctrine called, “Supremacy Clause Immunity”, should he be trusted as a Missouri law-enforcement officer?
In other words, if he didn’t respect Missouri law while acting as a federal agent, would we expect him to suddenly respect Missouri law if he takes – or returns to – a job as a Missouri cop?
I don’t think so and neither does anyone I’ve talked to.
The bottom line is that the “ineligibility clause” provides LOTS of incentive for anyone wanting to return to a Missouri law-enforcement job to respect Missourians’ gun rights!
And it is totally within Missouri’s constitutional power and authority to dictate the terms of employment for public employees.
The basis for using such tactics to starve the federal government of the state resources is the SCOTUS approved anti-commandeering doctrine.
The Anti-Commandeering Doctrine
Simply stated, the anti-commandeering doctrine is a state’s claim that the federal government can not “commandeer” or otherwise coerce a state into using its resources to enforce federal laws or do federal duties.
The anti-commandeering doctrine has been acknowledged to be a state’s right in at least four U.S. Supreme Court opinions – the most recent being NFIB v. Sebilus, the Obamacare case.
Before that was the 1997 case of Sheriffs Mack and Printz v. U.S. in which SCOTUS affirmed those sheriffs’ right to refuse to comply with the Brady handgun control act.
At the heart and soul of the Second Amendment Preservation Act is the anti-commandeering doctrine and it is completely and perfectly constitutional. The courts will have to reverse a lot of recent precedence to rule against SAPA.
Again, using the proven principles of the anti-commandeering doctrine, SAPA is intended to starve the federal government of the state resources it would need for any mass enforcement of unconstitutional federal gun grabs.
And the “ineligibility clause” closes what would otherwise be a huge loophole in SAPA, since without it the feds could get around the anti-commandeering doctrine by deputizing willing Missouri officials.
Road Map Back To The Principles Of Federalism
Missouri’s Second Amendment Preservation Act does more than just provide the best protections from federal infringement on your gun rights, it also provides a road map that can be used to restore the proper relationship between the federal and state governments.
The anti-commandeering doctrine similar to SAPA has already been used in Missouri. In 2012 Missouri voters approved Proposition E, which forbade the Governor or other state agencies from setting up a state health insurance exchange in compliance with Obamacare.
And in the 2013 and 2014 legislative sessions, the General Assembly refused to expand Medicaid. As mentioned above, the NFIB vs. Sebelius SCOTUS opinion said that the anti-commandeering doctrine affirmed the states’ right to refuse.
There are a host of other ways Missouri can “just say no” to federal intrusion and forbid state and local government from selling out to federal usurpers.
Please insist that the Missouri House of Representatives pass HB 1439 just as it was passed by the Senate – with all it’s teeth in place, including the “ineligibility clause”.