What do you get when you mix Missouri's Republican-led Legislature with their Democratic Governor Jay Nixon. The name Nixon should give you a clue. The answer is chaos.
According to DAVID A. LIEB of the Associated Press, it looks like law enforcement in the "Show Me" state may soon have some new criminals to apprehend. It's the Feds. If the proposed law being debated there right now is passed and signed, here's the scenario: A federal agent attempts to arrest someone for illegally selling a machine gun. Instead, the federal agent is arrested — charged in a state court with the crime of enforcing federal gun laws.
The Missouri legislation is perhaps the most extreme example of a states' rights movement that has been spreading across the nation. States are increasingly adopting laws that purport to nullify federal laws — setting up intentional legal conflicts, directing local police not to enforce federal laws and, in rare cases, even threatening criminal charges for federal agents who dare to do their jobs.
The Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that local police could not be compelled to carry out provisions of a federal gun control law. But some states are now attempting to take that a step further by asserting that certain federal laws can't even be enforced by federal authorities.
A new Kansas law makes it a felony for a federal agent to attempt to enforce laws on guns made and owned in Kansas. A similar Wyoming law, passed in 2010, made it a misdemeanor. The Missouri bill also would declare it a misdemeanor crime but would apply more broadly to all federal gun laws and regulations — past, present, or future — that "infringe on the people's right to keep and bear arms."
So, what is the chance of an arrest if this law passes and is signed? What will it do to other federal laws being followed in other states? Is this anarchy? Looks like only time will tell how long and how far Obama and Atty. Gen. Holder are willing to allow this flaunting. But it sure does make you wonder to what extent the grassroots and tea party organizations are willing to go to make their point.
So, Mr. Federal officer, think twice before you arrest a lawbreaker because you may find yourself in the cell next to him.