Target: Missouri State Legislators and Governor Jay Nixon
Goal: Demand Adherence to Existing Federal Gun Laws
This week, Missouri State lawmakers passed a radical new measure which would “nullify” federal gun laws and criminalize efforts to enforce them in the state. This new bill would allow concealed weapons in schools, circumvent existing open carry laws, and lower age limits for obtaining certain gun permits. Protect Missourians and all Americans from these continued attacks on public safety and demand that Missouri uphold our Constitution and existing, effective laws.
Almost four months after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut – which killed more than 20 children, staff, and teachers – public debate surrounding gun control laws has intensified. Congressional gridlock and obstructionism are continuing, and a popular bipartisan gun control compromise recently failed. State-level politics are clearly pushing policy proposals to even further extremes.
Missouri’s bill, much like a similar recently-passed Kansas bill, is an especially dangerous symbolic measure that essentially disavows longstanding principles of our nation’s Constitution, including the tradition of federal supremacy. Notably, such bills ignore Department of Justice data that indicate that gun control laws prevented more than 2 million illegal firearm sales since 1994, protecting countless Americans while preserving access to firearms for law abiding citizens. Democratic Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is to sign the bill soon. Demand that he veto this radical bill and tell Missouri lawmakers to push for productive, legal proposals.
Dear Governor Nixon and Missouri State Lawmakers,
Recent public opinion and policy debates surrounding American gun control laws continue to hold national attention. With the Sandy Hook tragedy fresh in our collective memories, it is incumbent upon lawmakers to find a way to protect our nation’s citizens, including and especially our children. The recently-passed Missouri state gun bill, which would seek to “nullify” federal gun laws and criminalize their enforcement, marking a clear step back for policy, a dangerous precedent that would vastly increase access to unregulated weapons, and a clearly unconstitutional dismissal of federal laws.
Access to firearms is an enshrined American right, one that endures more than two centuries after the founding of our nation. As firearms have developed, their ubiquity and technological advancement presented new challenges requiring regulation and monitoring, which became policy staples during the latter half of the twentieth century. The Brady Bill, perhaps the most famous of all gun control reforms, instituted sweeping changes to our nation’s background check system. According to Department of Justice data, such regulations prevented more than 2 million potential firearm sales in this nation, with felons and fugitives representing more than half of those rejected. The argument that “criminals do not abide by legal restrictions” may be true sometimes, but background checks clearly, demonstrably reduce criminals’ access to weapons and must be preserved.
Please reject this bill and advocate for a smarter-and Constitutional-approach to resolving our concerns over firearm safety.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Slowking4 via Wikimedia