Mo. Lawmakers Back Away From Gun Showdown With Feds

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from NPR,

Missouri legislators appeared locked and loaded for a high-stakes fight with U.S. officials over gun-control policies but they backed down at the last moment. They sustained a veto of a bill attempting to invalidate certain federal firearms laws.

The Republican-backed bill ultimately was doomed by the top GOP leaders of the state Senate, who cited concerns that the measure could have hindered local law enforcement efforts and infringed on free-speech rights.

Senators voted 22-12 for the veto override Wednesday night, falling a single vote shy of the required two-thirds majority. Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey and Majority Leader Ron Richard split from the rest of the GOP caucus to instead sustain Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto.

The override attempt already had passed the Republican-led House 109-49, getting the bare minimum number of votes needed.

The legislation had declared that any federal policies that “infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms” shall be invalid in Missouri.

“However, I have reached a point where, in my view, political prudence and good public policy have parted ways, and I have been forced to pick which path I will follow,” Dempsey, of St. Charles, said in a written explanation of his vote.

“My love of the Second Amendment didn’t trump my love of the First Amendment,” he told reporters.

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