Recently a proposed Missouri law that would have nullified federal gun bans failed by a single vote. Missouri pro-gun rights advocates are not going to stop fighting for their 2nd Amendment rights; however I suggest that activists demand Missouri lawmakers to follow a South Carolina bill that seeks to amend the state’s definition of an “unorganized militia” in order to exempt gun owners from any attempt of federal gun bans.
In Missouri, a Republican House and Senate passed House Bill 436 – or the Second Amendment Preservation Act – which would have nullified federal gun legislation. The bill was vetoed by Democrat Governor Jay Nixon, and failed to override the veto by a single vote.
Opponents of the bill also include the Missouri Attorney General, who argued that it could be seen as unconstitutional, and St. Louis County and Metropolitan police chiefs, who said that the bill would make their job harder, and would open the door for violent offenders to return to the streets by preventing them from being tried in federal courts. The bill would make it illegal for federal agencies, like the FBI and ATF, to enforce federal laws on Missouri soil.
Though the bill ultimately failed on Wednesday, there are similar bills in other state legislatures, ones which Missouri could adopt. In South Carolina, for instance, Senate Bill 247 seeks to amend the state’s definition of an “unorganized militia” and the rights of such individuals and groups. This amendment would help to preserve Second Amendment rights for every South Carolinian over the age of 17.
By the definition of Section 25-1-80 of the South Carolina Code, any able-bodied citizen over 17 years old who is not a member of the military is a member of the state’s unorganized militia. The bill would essentially nullify all federal restrictions passed after January 1, 2013 by exempting members of the unorganized militia from outside laws passed after that date.
“A militia member,” it reads, “at his own expense, shall have the right to possess and keep all arms that could be legally acquired or possessed by a South Carolina citizen as of December 31, 2012. This includes shouldered rifles and shotguns, handguns, clips, magazines, and all components.” This would essentially accomplish most of the goals as the Missouri bill, but while getting to the heart of the issue of gun ownership for many people.
The bill would also exempt members of the unorganized militia from “any law or regulation or jurisdiction of any person or entity outside of South Carolina.” This means that no federal legislation, executive orders, or international treaties – such as the UN small arms treaty – would affect people over the age of 17 in South Carolina. This is very similar to the end effect of the Missouri bill, though that bill would have legalized weapons which had been restricted on a federal level before December 2012.
Missouri’s fight against federal gun control needn’t be killed by a single vote. There are many possible paths to take toward the same goal, including a bill similar to South Carolina’s. One thing is for sure, none of us should be begging for our God-Given Constitutional rights.