‘Shall not be infringed’: Missouri officials refuse to cooperate with feds on gun control

by WorldTribune Staff, April 25, 2023

Officials in Camden County, Missouri declared that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is “unconstitutional” and said they will not cooperate with the federal agency in its gun control operations.

Camden County presiding commissioner Ike Skelton, County Attorney Jeff Green, County Treasurer Kendra Hicks, and Sheriff Tony Helms cited a local ordinance as justification for refusing to cooperate.

“Under the Anti-Commandeering Doctrine, Camden County was the first county in Missouri, and possibly in the country, to pass an ordinance prohibiting any county employee from assisting your unconstitutional agency in violating the rights of our citizens,” wrote Skelton in comments quoted by a local NPR affiliate.

Skelton added that “[a]ny and all federal firearms laws, so-called laws, in my opinion, and many others’ opinion, are unconstitutional.”

Last month, Obama-appointed federal Judge Brian Wimes moved to strike down the Second Amendment Preservation Act of 2021, a law passed by Missouri’s legislature which empowered residents of the state to sue local and state officials who would assist federal agencies in infringing on the residents’ Second Amendment rights.

Wimes ruled the Missouri law was “unconstitutional” and therefore “invalid, null, void, and of no effect,” arguing that it undermined the supremacy of federal law over state law.

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey said he would “defend this statute to the highest court.”

Wimes has conceded that the act can remain in force while the appeals process is ongoing.

“Observers well beyond Missouri will be watching closely to see which position wins out, given the enormous implications it could have not just for gun rights, but also states’ rights and the very nature of governance within the Union,” The National Pulse noted on April 25.

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