Traverse City Record-Eagle

Other Views

April 26, 2014

Another View: Bad aim

We continue to be amazed at the lengths to which Missouri Republican lawmakers will go to block even the threat of federal gun-control laws.

The latest is a proposed amendment to this session’s version of a bill aimed at nullifying federal gun laws. It takes aim at federal agents who might enforce laws the state sees as infringing on gun rights by barring them from any future careers in state law enforcement agencies.

Under the measure, federal employees who enforce or aid in a potential enforcement of certain gun-control laws would be disqualified from any state and local law enforcement jobs in the future. Missourians could also sue if they think a law enforcement officer was employed after being involved in the implementation of a federal gun law. If the lawsuit is successful, the agent would be fired and the state or municipality would be required to pay the resident’s court costs.

The employment ban was seen as a compromise - other versions called for offending federal officers to be jailed and fined.

Another provision of the law would lower the minimum age required to get a concealed weapons permit to 19 - from 21 - and allow those permit holders to carry a firearm openly, even in municipalities with ordinances prohibiting open carry.

Aren’t these the same Republicans who constantly say that local control is sacrosanct?

They challenge Common Core because they say it robs local school boards of control.

Then they turn around and say they’re going to tell cities and counties who they can or can’t hire for law enforcement officers?

And the gun owners, including teenagers, get to flaunt open-carry ordinances passed by city councils and town boards?

We suppose the state could enforce the hiring ban on highway patrol or water patrol officers, though it is beyond us to understand why it would want to rule out adding to the state staff officers with federal training and experience.

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