Gun-free zones are more commonplace in our country today than they have been in the past. Many gun-free zones are federally mandated and are meant to be safe spaces, but they seem to have the opposite effect because individuals cannot protect themselves in these gun-free zones. Federal laws that prohibit the sale and ownership of firearms infringe on the rights we have as American citizens under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I have filed Senate Bill 367 to address these concerns.
Senate Bill 367 creates the “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” which declares any federal law that infringes on the right to bear arms invalid. Such laws include those that require certain taxes, registration and the tracking of guns and gun owners. It also covers any federal law that places a prohibition on the possession, ownership, use or transfer of a specific type of firearm. This legislation also declares that it is the duty of the courts and law enforcement agencies to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. Furthermore, this act states that no public officer or state or local employee has the authority to enforce firearms laws that are declared invalid by this legislation. Any individual acting as an official or employee of the state who enforces the federal laws declared invalid by this act will be permanently ineligible to serve as a law enforcement officer.
Our right as American citizens to keep and bear arms should not be subject to debate. It is clearly written in the Second Amendment. It is no different than our right to a speedy and public trial or our freedom of speech and religion. It is astonishing that our right to bear arms is questioned and scrutinized. I fully respect the federal government’s authority in other areas of our lives, but laws concerning firearms overstep the bounds of their jurisdiction. Firearms laws need to be set at the state level, not by politicians in Washington, D.C.
Senate Bill 367 was referred to the Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee, and I presented this legislation to the members of the committee for their consideration. I look forward to further discussing this important piece of legislation with my fellow senators as it moves through the legislative process.
Please visit Sen. Burlison’s official Missouri Senate website at www.senate.mo.gov/burlison for more legislative and constituent resources.