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SAPA to be signed into law by Parson this weekend

The Second Amendment Preservation Act, a controversial gun-rights proposal approved by the legislature on the final day of session, is scheduled to be signed into law Saturday. 

HB 85, commonly known as SAPA, would nullify any federal law that restricts gun ownership, including those related to taxes, tracking, confiscation orders, and prohibitions on possession. Another section would require those who knowingly deprive a Missouri citizen of those rights to be liable for redress for $50,000, including law enforcement departments.

“I’m happy that the governor agreed with the General Assembly, he recognizes the threat the current administration poses on Second Amendment rights to law-abiding Missourians,” sponsor Rep. Jered Taylor said. “I look forward to standing next to the governor on Saturday to push back on the federal government’s overreach and protect Second Amendment rights in Missouri.”

Gov. Mike Parson is scheduled to sign the measure into law Saturday in Lee’s Summit at Frontier Justice, the same shooting range Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler launched her U.S. Senate campaign from Thursday. 

The bill was a focus of Republican leadership as this year’s session drew to a close; the Senate passed it after a lengthy standoff the night before session ended, and the House gave its final approval with an hour left before the legislative deadline. 

The measure saw extensive pushback from the other side of the aisle. Senate Democrats filibustered the bill for several hours, and House members voiced their own opposition to the bill before its final passage. One point of contention was an attempt to add a provision closing a loophole in state law allowing domestic abusers access to firearms, a measure its proponents are already gearing up to champion again next year. 

“It is my hope that as we have a discussion about the right to bear arms that we also have a conversation about how we can keep vulnerable people safe and that guns and intimate partner violence are deeply connected,” said amendment maker Sen. Lauren Arthur.

Other lawmakers argued the bill would encourage fringe groups and said the ability to sue law enforcement for violating the act was essentially a way to “defund the police.”

Parson has signed several pieces of legislation into law this week; a bill signed Monday will create a statewide Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). Another outlining who could inspect agricultural facilities was signed Thursday, along with a resolution affirming the state’s financial commitment to the East Locust Creek Reservoir Project in the northern part of the state.