According to CNN September 11, 2013, the State Legislature of the State of Missouri is considering a bill that would nullify federal gun laws in that state, make it legal for citizens to own machine guns, and allow for the arrest and prosecution of any and all federal agents who try to arrest Missourians who own machine guns. The bill, which is named House Bill 436, passed a veto override vote Wednesday in the Missouri House of Representatives and is one step closer to becoming State law. The override effort now goes to the State Senate which is expected to vote to override the veto in the next day or so.
House Bill 436, which was vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon (D), would also make it a crime for anyone to publicize any information about a gun owner in the State of Missouri. Nixon's rationale for vetoing the bill was that he felt that it violated the Supremacy Clause, which is a federal law that gives precedence to federal laws over state laws. However, gun owners in Missouri claim that House Bill 436 is necessary to protect their rights as gun owners.
Missouri State Representative Doug Funderburk stated that House Bill 436 is necessary to protect the Second Amendment rights of Missourians. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that citizens have a legal right "to bear arms," has been interpreted in different ways by people on both sides of the gun law debates.
At least for the time being, it is abundantly clear where Missourians position themselves on the gun law debates. The challenge is going to escalate for all parties as the laws and initiatives of a Constitutionally protected state come up against federal laws, mandates and Constitutional provisions. It will be very interesting to see how this matter plays itself out in the end, and it is this author's suspicion that both parties will not mince their words as this debates escalates and tempers boil.