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United States of America v. The State of Missouri: Defending common-sense federal gun safety regulation

Case Information: United States of America v. The State of Missouri, No. 2:22-cv-4022-BCW (United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Central Division, filed March 14, 2022)

At Issue: Missouri is one of many states that have passed laws seeking to nullify federal gun safety legislation. The Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA) prohibits the enforcement of many federal gun laws necessary to protect public safety. However, this illegal nullification law puts Missourians in danger by undermining public safety laws and law enforcement efforts. 

Our Brief: Our brief asks the Court to reject Missouri’s attempt to undermine federal law and strike down the SAPA. Not only is SAPA blatantly unconstitutional under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, it also poses real and significant danger to Missourians. Federal gun safety laws address many essential aspects of public safety, such as keeping guns off of school grounds, establishing minimum ages for buying firearms, and implementing background checks that keep firearms away from prohibited persons. While SAPA purports to protect Second Amendment rights, the Supreme Court has made clear that Second Amendment rights are “not unlimited.” Federal gun safety laws are consistent with Second Amendment rights and have been upheld by courts against Second Amendment challenges. Furthermore, the SAPA’s reach has gone beyond federal law and chilling local law enforcement efforts; officers now fear that under SAPA’s vague language they may be prosecuted for actions that “may only tangentially involve federal personnel or firearms.” For these reasons, we argue that the Court should grant the federal government’s motion for summary judgment and find the law invalid and unconstitutional.

Read the full text of our amicus brief here.