Justice Department: Missouri Gun Law Undercuts Public Safety

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — At least 12 Missouri law enforcement officers have pulled out of federal task forces because of a new state gun law, the U.S. Department of Justice wrote in a Wednesday court filing.

The Missouri law barring state and local authorities from enforcing federal gun laws kicks in Aug. 28.

But, in a court filing in support of a St. Louis-area lawsuit seeking to overturn the legislation, the Justice Department said the measure has already damaged relationships with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

The law subjects law enforcement agencies with officers who knowingly enforce federal gun laws to a fine of $50,000 per violating officer.

So far, 12 of 53 federally deputized officers in Missouri have pulled out of joint task forces because of the law.

Kansas City police stopped sharing investigative information with the bureau and giving its agents access to gun and ammunition evidence, the department wrote.

Several Missouri police agencies also plan to stop sharing ballistics evidence in a national database used to solve gun crimes.

A Missouri Attorney General spokesman said the office “will continue to vociferously” stand up for gun rights as the office defends the new state law in court.

A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for Thursday.