Missouri judge declines to rule on new gun law’s legality

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri judge on Friday declined to weigh in on the constitutionality of a new state law forbidding local police from enforcing federal gun laws.

Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green on Friday punted the case.

St. Louis and St. Louis County in June sued to block the new law, which denounces federal rules on firearms. The law, called the Second Amendment Preservation Act, also subjects law enforcement agencies with officers who knowingly enforce any federal gun laws to a fine of about $50,000 per violating officer.

The Justice Department also sent a letter to Missouri officials warning them that the state can’t ignore federal law.

The suit sought an injunction to halt enforcement of the law and to overturn it on the grounds that it violates the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, which established that federal laws in most cases supersede state laws.

Green said the constitutionality of the law should be decided in other pending lawsuits filed against the plaintiffs under the new law.

Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt in a statement said Green’s ruling is a victory “for the Second Amendment rights of all Missourians.”

Spokesmen for St. Louis and St. Louis County didn’t immediately comment on the ruling.

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