BRADY CENTER TO PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE
For Immediate Release
September 12, 2013
Contact: Jennifer Fuson
Missouri Legislature Fails to Override Veto of Bill Nullifying Federal Gun Laws
Statement of Jonathan Lowy, Director of the Legal Action Project at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Washington, DC – On September 11, hours after the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence announced that it was prepared to file suit in federal court against Missouri’s HB 436 if it was enacted, the Missouri Senate failed to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of the legislation. HB 436 would have criminalized enforcement of federal gun laws, declared them null and void within the state, and criminalized the publication of names of firearms owners.
Jonathan Lowy, Director of the Legal Action Project at the Brady Center, issued the following statement:
“Governor Nixon, Attorney General Koster, and some Missouri legislators deserve credit for standing up for the Constitution and the safety of Missourians, and rejecting this unconstitutional and dangerous attempt to allow criminals to obtain guns, and make federal law enforcement officers into criminals.
Gun violence is a national problem, and the Constitution properly provides the federal government with wide authority to protect Americans by reasonably regulating guns. Thankfully, enough Missouri legislators got the message that if this bill became law, the Brady Center was prepared to have it struck down in court as the unconstitutional political grandstanding that it was.
Other states considering similar legislation should understand that they will face the Brady Center in court if they violate the Constitution and endanger their citizens. The American people want their legislators focused on sensible solutions to gun violence, instead of grandstanding with unconstitutional and false declarations that the federal government has no authority to address our national gun violence problem.”
The Brady Center has successfully brought lawsuits that enjoined or struck down a Florida law that prevented doctors from discussing firearms; a Georgia ordinance that mandated firearms ownership by heads of households; and a federal rule that allowed guns in national parks. (The parks rule was later overridden by Congress). The Brady Center also helped invalidate a Montana law that purported to exempt Montana-made guns from federal firearms laws.
The lawsuit had been prepared by James Wyrsch of Wyrsch Hobbs & Mirakian, P.C., Charles Patterson, Stuart Plunkett, Kay Fitz-Patrick, Christopher Sousa, and John Lanham of Morrison & Foerster LLP, and Jonathan Lowy and Elizabeth Burke of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.