Missouri's governor and attorney general are promising to fight the Biden administration "tooth and nail" in order to preserve gun rights in the state.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson and Attorney General Eric Schmitt told the Department of Justice (DOJ) that state leadership is prepared to defend the Second Amendment rights of Missourians in a letter sent Thursday.
The pushback was in response to a threatening letter from the DOJ after the state's attorney signed a law essentially forbidding state law enforcement from implementing what Parson regards as unconstitutional gun laws.
"The Second Amendment Preservation Act is about protecting law-abiding Missourians against government overreach and unconstitutional federal mandates," Parson said in the statement.
"We will reject any attempt by the federal government to circumvent the fundamental right Missourians have to keep and bear arms to protect themselves and their property. Throughout my career, I have always stood for the Constitution and our Second Amendment rights, and that will not change today or any day."
Parson signed the law on June 14 that held agencies liable for up to $50,000 per officer that violates the Second Amendment rights of state residents in order to enforce federal gun laws. The DOJ then sent a threatening letter that Parsons says was also intentionally leaked to the Associated Press.
"Your letter purporting to ask for clarification of this important legislation, which was purposefully leaked to the news media, is riddled with a misunderstanding of the law and falsehoods. We will not stand by while the federal government tries to tell Missourians how to live our lives," Parson and Schmitt wrote. "Missouri is not attempting to nullify federal law. Instead, Missouri is defending its people from federal government overreach by prohibiting state and local law enforcement agencies from being used by the federal government to infringe Missourians' right to keep and bear arms."
Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton penned the letter to Parson, which stated that Missouri risked losing out on federal aid and assistance if the state did not enforce federal law. To which Parson cried hypocrisy:
"On his first day in office, President Biden rescinded President Trump’s executive order that prohibited federal grant awards to sanctuary jurisdictions that refused to cooperate with the federal government to enforcement immigration laws. In April, the Office of Justice Programs reportedly repealed the Department of Justice’s policy that required recipients of a law enforcement grant to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as a condition of their funding."
"We will fight tooth and nail to defend the right to keep and bear arms protected by the Second Amendment, Article I, § 23 of the Missouri Constitution, and the Second Amendment Preservation Act. And we will not tolerate any attempt by the federal government to deprive Missourians of this critical civil right," Parson and Schmitt concluded in the responding statement.