State Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, told The Missourian this week that vetoed bills dealing with guns and foreign law will be filed again.
One of Nieves’ bigger bills in this year’s legislative session was the Second Amendment Preservation Act. It said federal laws that infringe on people’s rights to bear arms would be null and void in Missouri. It also said that federal officials who attempt to infringe on law-abiding citizens’ right to bear arms would be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Law enforcement officials expressed concern that the bill would have created problems for them when they sought assistance from federal agents.
But Nieves said that was just a “red herring” created by Attorney General Chris Koster. There was nothing in the bill that prevented local law enforcement from lawfully and constitutionally working with federal agencies, Nieves asserted. He would never want to hamper law enforcement, he added.
Nieves said he would like to see the bill stay the same but that he will be open to negotiations and tweaking the bill if needed. He said he will not be OK with making major changes to the bill.
He is willing to clarify language in the bill regarding what type of information newspapers can print about gun owners. For instance, he said he has no problem with newspapers printing hunting photos and saying what kind of gun was used to kill game.
But he is against newspapers publishing lists of registered gun owners just as he is against information about other people’s assets, such as gold and investments, being printed.
One of the main reasons Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the bill was that he said it violated the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution. The governor said federal law takes precedence over state law, and therefore Missouri cannot say U.S. gun laws are illegal here. Nieves has said the governor was wrong about the supremacy clause.
In an interview with The St. Louis Beacon, Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, said he voted against the gun bill in the veto session because it had too many poorly drafted provisions.
Nieves said he is also disappointed with the United Nations Agenda 21 bill failing to pass this year.
The governor vetoed the bill, and there were not enough votes in the House to override the governor.
Nieves said the bill simply said that any of the Agenda 21 measures that violate personal property rights would be unlawful in the Show-Me State.
That bill will be submitted again in its exact same form, he said, noting that it passed overwhelmingly in the House and Senate in the regular session this year.
In his veto letter, Nixon wrote that Agenda 21 imposes no mandates on state or local government and that the bill would put “ambiguously worded restrictions on state and local governments.”
Nieves said he also supported a tax cut bill that the governor vetoed. But Nieves said he thinks that bill will be drastically reworked if it is brought back next year.
The governor opposed the bill, saying he thought it would cut the state’s revenue and jeopardize public services, including education.
But Nieves said the governor was wrong and that the state has several hundred million dollars in surplus funds.
“It’s time for the state to give some of that money back to the people,” Nieves said.
Finally, Nieves said the “American laws for American courts” bill will be filed again. He said that bill simply said Missouri courts could not use foreign law that is “repugnant” to the U.S. or Missouri Constitution.
The bill does not pose a risk to international adoptions as Nixon suggested in his veto letter, Nieves said.
Nieves added that using international adoptions as a reason to veto that bill was a “hollow, made-up excuse.”