KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Cole County, Missouri, judge will decide Thursday if a lawsuit challenging the state’s controversial Second Amendment Preservation Act will move forward.
The lawsuit already got tossed out once but then the Missouri Supreme Court revived it.
Jackson County and the city of St. Louis are already part of the legal challenge, but on Tuesday, Kansas City leaders advanced a resolution Tuesday that would add the city’s name to the list of plaintiffs.
St. Louis and Jackson County argue the Second Amendment Preservation Act is unconstitutional because it puts barriers in front of local police who want to work with federal agents on gun cases.
At Kansas City’s Special Committee for Legal Review, Kansas City Attorney Matt Gigliotti described how police efforts to enforce gun laws are “chilled” by the Missouri law.
“We have an opportunity in this litigation with our other municipalities and other political subdivisions that have engaged in this to stand up for that and make sure the city’s investment in law enforcement pays dividends,” Gigliotti said.
“What I see is probably our city’s name basically in a symbolic way. But also I think in an unsymbolic way it’s letting the court know that we also have a vested interest in this,” Mayor Pro Tem Kevin McManus said.
Gov. Mike Parson signed the Second Amendment Preservation Act into law in 2021. It includes fines and possibly jail time for officers who enforce federal gun laws in Missouri. Police departments also risk fines up to $50,000 if they partner with the FBI, DEA or ATF to “register, track” or forbid the “transfer of any kind of firearm.”
The concern is that the law would bar police from partnering with federal agents, for example, while tracking a murder weapon.
“I don’t think it’s just the media driving this story. I think it’s really truly some concerns from the folks who you wouldn’t necessarily expect it. They’re people who love their guns, right? But they just want to make sure they can understand how to do their job and protect their community. And I think we should support them in that,” McManus said.
The Kansas City Council will vote Thursday on if the city will join the lawsuit. That’s the same day for the hearing in Cole County where the state is asking a judge to once again throw the lawsuit out.