We talked to the Speaker of the House, Tim Jones, yesterday. Although he’s unsure whether the House can override Governor Nixon’s veto of the tax cut bill, he’s pretty confident it can override the veto of HB436, the gun bill. That’s the bill that says:
3. (1) All federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations, whether past, present,or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution shall be invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, shall be specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.
We just can’t wait to see this bill played out if the legislature overrides the veto. The Governor’s veto message makes a strong legal argument that this provision is unconstitutional. Another section of the bill pretty clearly to us and to the Governor violates the First Amendment although Jones says he has talked to attorneys who say that’s not true.
But let’s go back to the section cited above. A news release earlier this week from the U. S. Attorney for Western Missouri, Tammy Dickson, got us thinking about how this law could put her in jail.
The news release reported that a Jefferson City man, Andrew David Brandwein, had been convicted in federal court of illegally possessing six firearms. It seems that Mr. Brandwein has a string of previous felony convictions for various drug violations. Federal law says people with felony convictions cannot have guns.
We will await the day that a Missouri county sheriff arrests Tammy Dickson for enforcing a federal law that infringes on the Second Amendment right of people like Mr. Brandwein to keep and bear arms. After all, a plain reading of the Second Amendment (and who cares what courts have ruled in the two centuries since it was written?) does not exclude felons from owning guns.
Our own Jessica Machetta is the sister of a U. S. Marshall. “It would not turn out well,” she says of the possibility that a county mountie might try to arrest her brother who was taking a convicted felon into custody for keeping and bearing an arm. The sheriff enforcing provisions of HB436 could find himself facing federal charges of hindering federal prosecution. We’d pay to watch the wrestling match between those two over who gets handcuffed first.
Perhaps Speaker Jones has a fine kettle to bring to the Capitol for the veto session. If he’s right, his colleagues will fill it with fish.