WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Friday sided with the Biden administration in its fight with Missouri over the state’s controversial “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” upholding a ruling that put on hold the state’s ban on federal gun laws.
The law, signed by Republican Gov. Mike Parson in 2021, subjects police who attempt to enforce federal gun laws to lawsuits and $50,000 civil penalties. Conservative officials in the state celebrated its passage, arguing it established Missouri as a state with some of the most permissive gun laws in the nation.
Without comment Friday, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that had blocked the law, meaning it cannot be enforced while the litigation continues in lower courts. Justice Clarence Thomas said he would have granted the state’s request for a stay.
Justices Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito noted that the court was only acting on police officers and state employees, not “private parties” who might sue under the state’s law. Missouri allowed private citizens to enforce the law through civil lawsuits; Gorsuch and Alito noted that the Supreme Court had declined to weigh into a similar enforcement mechanism in a 2021 challenge to a Texas abortion law.
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, a Republican, said the decision was a “purely procedural matter” and said he looked forward “to defending Missourians’ Second Amendment rights.”
The Justice Department declined to comment.
Though limited and technical, the ruling Friday was nevertheless a blow to gun rights groups at a time when many gun restrictions across the country are being challenged in the wake of a landmark Supreme Court decision last year.
The Supreme Court expanded Second Amendment protections in a 6-3 opinion last year that invalidated a New York gun licensing law. A majority of the court ruled in that case that gun regulations must be “consistent with this nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation” to survive court challenges. That has set off a flurry of lawsuits over other gun laws, requiring federal courts to assess whether the prohibitions at issue have some connection to history.
Federal laws require licensed manufacturers to engrave serial numbers on firearms and maintain sales records. Those laws also bar felons, people addicted to drugs and others from possessing guns.
This year, the Supreme Court is already considering a high-profile Second Amendment case challenging a federal law that bars people who are subject to restraining orders from owning guns. President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was charged with another provision of the law that prohibits people with drug addictions from owning guns.
Contributing: Springfield News-Leader
Follow us on Facebook : https://web.facebook.com/wacnews
To receive the latest news on your phone using the Telegram application, click here: https://t.me/+KMdLTc0qS6ZkMGI0
Send us a message by Whatsapp : Whatsapp +44 7476844931