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Missouri Lawmakers Advance Gun Bills To Ban Gun Control

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Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon

A Missouri legislative committee Tuesday passed two bills that would ban the enforcement of any new federal gun control laws in the state.

The Republican-controlled Missouri House of Representatives will consider bills that would ban enforcement of all federal gun control laws adopted after Jan. 1 of this year, and would exempt all guns made in Missouri from federal regulation if they remain in the state, the Associated Press reported.

The committee's passage of the bills follows action on similar legislation in other states, including Missouri's neighbors.

The Associated Press reported that the bills passed on party lines with Republicans in favor and Democrats against. Republicans hold super-majorities in both houses of the Missouri state legislature, which gives both bills a good shot at reaching Gov. Jay Nixon (D).

Nixon declined to discuss the specifics of the bills when asked by The Huffington Post at this weekend's National Governors Association winter meeting in Washington. He said he wanted to keep the focus on mental health issues and not dive into whether the state should enforce federal gun laws.

"Our focus has been on the mental health side," Nixon said.

State bans on federal gun laws have been popular with state Republican lawmakers since the Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre last year inspired talk of gun control in Washington. Wyoming was first to introduce the legislation last month and several other states have followed.

Some states also have also are considering laws that would exempt guns made in their states that do not leave from federal regulation. Supporters have said this would allow the state to duck the Constitution's Supremacy Clause, which declares federal law the supreme law of the land, since the guns would not be part of interstate commerce. A Kansas legislative committee passed legislation Wednesday to exempt Kansas-made guns from federal laws, and a similar bill is pending in Oklahoma.

The two Missouri bills are among 24 pieces of firearms legislation pending in the state House. Other bills include a ban on assault weapons and a bill that would make it a felony for legislators to introduce bills that infringe on the Second Amendment. The assault weapons proposal would also require those owning assault weapons to either surrender them to the state or move them outside of Missouri.

State Rep. Mike Leara (R-St. Louis), sponsor of the Second Amendment legislation ban, told HuffPost earlier this month that he introduced it as a protest of the assault weapons ban.

"It is a push-back to the people who don’t believe in our constitutional rights," Leara said at the time. "There have to be consequences to removing our constitutional rights.”

Also on HuffPost:

Pivotal Moments In The Federal Gun Control Debate
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