Greene County Sheriff critical of legislation to establish Second Amendment Preservation Act

Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott
Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott(KY3)
Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 6:36 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 29, 2021 at 9:03 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Missouri lawmakers are considering two bills that intend to protect the Second Amendment and further ease restrictions for gun owners.

Sen. Eric Burlison (R-Christian County) and Rep. Jered Taylor (R-Republic) are pushing legislation to establish the Second Amendment Preservation Act.

Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott says the bills are “well intended but misguided” and could limit law enforcement officers all around the state.

“It is not only my duty, but my privilege to serve and protect the citizens of Greene County from criminal activity. Just as important however, it is my duty to stand between government overreach and you, specifically in regard of the 2nd Amendment. I am a member of the NRA and will never take part in the infringement of your constitutional right to legally purchase, possess, own, transfer or carry a firearm.”

Arnott says the sheriff’s office often works with federal agencies to investigate crimes. Under the legislation, law enforcement officers could face termination of employment if they share any firearm-related information with federal law enforcement.

Regardless of whether federal gun laws become stricter, Arnott asks for legislation that doesn’t punish Missouri officers.

“If Senator Burlison and Representative Taylor would consider receiving insight from the Missouri Law Enforcement perspective, I am very willing to work with them on these bills, as are many other Sheriffs,” says Arnott. “We need state laws that will make it easier to keep our communities safe, not those that have unintended consequences and silence law enforcement officials.”

Read the full statement from Sheriff Arnott below:

Rep. Jared Taylor released this statement to KY3 News:

This letter is in response to the attack on the Second Amendment Preservation Act by Sheriffs Arnott and Cole. As your State Representative I took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United State and of the State of Missouri. I proudly serve the people of the 139th District in Christian County as your State Representative in Jefferson City. I take my oath very seriously and will do everything in my power to defend your Constitutional rights, whether they are being infringed upon by the federal government, state government, or local government. Article 1 Section 2 of the Missouri Constitution states that “All constitutional government is intended to promote the general welfare of the people; that all persons have a natural right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry; that all persons are created equal and are entitle to equal rights and opportunities under the law; that to give security to these things is the principal office of government, and that when government does not confer this security, it fails in its chief design.” The Second Amendment Preservation Act was designed to protect the liberty discussed in the constitution, if government fails to protect these liberties from the federal government or state government or local government entities, including your Sheriff, they have failed in their chief design. Unfortunately, many Sheriffs are misguided about HB 85, they are being given bad information. HB 85, also known as the Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA) was designed to protect the second amendment rights of law abiding citizens of Missouri from an out of control Federal Government, no matter what party is in office. This legislation is founded on the anti-commandeering doctrine that has been upheld by the Supreme Court on multiple occasions and most are familiar with how it been used most recently in Missouri and other states through marijuana laws. It simply is telling the Federal Government you aren’t going to commandeer/use our resources to enforce your laws. This same constitutional idea implements that principle to any federal gun laws. I recognize the threat posed by the Biden administration and their call to ban certain weapons because they are scary, or magazine capacity restrictions, or their scheme to tax guns and ammo out of existence. The way we push back is by asserting our 10th amendment rights, state sovereignty, to the out of control Federal Government. So how does SAPA do this? HB 85 simply says that law enforcement in this state cannot enforce federal gun laws, but they can and will enforce state gun laws. This law does not stop Sheriffs or law enforcement from participating in any federal task force or sharing information, as long as gun related charges are charged on a state level. If our prison sentences need to be stricter, we as Missourians should make that decision, not Washington DC, we know what works for Missouri. SAPA is just as much about protecting your second amendment rights as it is about protecting Law Enforcement Officers. Countless deputies and law enforcement officers have reached out in support of this legislation because they know that it will be them enforcing gun bans on law abiding citizens, not the Sheriff or Police Chief. There are penalties if the provisions in HB 85 are violated, if they violate your constitutional rights as a law abiding gun owner in Missouri. If a federal agent or agent of the federal government violate the provisions of this bill, they will not be allowed to maintain or obtain a peace officer license in Missouri. If the person violating your rights is a law enforcement officer of the state, they will be subject to a lawsuit by the person whose rights were violated. The Sheriffs association and Sheriff Arnott hasn’t supported a single 2nd Amendment bill during my time in the legislature. They have been an obstacle every step of the way, including legislation enacting constitutional carry. It’s one thing to say you support the 2nd Amendment and it’s a whole other thing to actually do it. I reached out to multiple Sheriffs, including Sheriff Arnott and Sheriff Cole prior to filing this legislation 2 years ago because I wanted their input and I wanted to avoid unintended consequences, unfortunately they are just now sharing their concern on liberal outlets like the News Leader rather than reaching out to me. I have worked with the Sheriffs association and agreed to changes but I will not agree to gut the bill in order to make their job a little easier to violate your second amendment rights. My door is always open for meaningful discussion to make this legislation the best it can be for law abiding Missourians.

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