JEFFERSON CITY | Any federal agent trying to enforce new gun restrictions in Missouri would be guilty of a Class D felony under legislation introduced in the state Senate Wednesday.
The bill, sponsored by Republican state Sen. Brian Munzlinger of Williamstown, seeks to nullify any federal law restricting semiautomatic guns and accessories beyond what existed at the end of 2012. Similar legislation has been filed in the Missouri House by Republican Rep. Casey Guernsey of Bethany that has 61 co-sponsors.
Critics of the idea say the legislation is meaningless, as courts have ruled that federal law supersedes state law.
The legislation came in response to President Barack Obama on Wednesday unveiling 23 executive actions that range from ordering federal agencies to make more data available for background checks to clarifying that the federal health care law allows doctors to ask patients about guns in the home.
Additionally, the president called on Congress to institute new bans on assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
Munzlinger saw the moves as a direct attack on the Second Amendment, which he said "protects all the other amendments."
"We need to stand up for our rights and how we interpret the Constitution here in Missouri," Munzlinger said.
Other ideas that have been floated by Missouri Republicans, who hold veto-proof super majorities in both legislative chambers, include allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons into classrooms and requiring public schools to offer a gun safety program organized by the National Rifle Association to all first graders.
Whether any of those ideas will get much traction is still in question. Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, a St. Charles Republican, said on the legislative session's first day that gun bills wouldn't be a big priority this year.
House Speaker Tim Jones, a Eureka Republican, said he hasn't seen the bill, and therefore couldn't offer comment.