COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri police chiefs have called on state lawmakers to change a new law banning local police from enforcing federal gun laws, which law enforcement officials say is making it harder to fight crime.
The Missouri Police Chiefs Association wrote a letter to Republican state lawmakers urging changes to the law.
Lawmakers had cited the potential for new gun-control measures under President Joe Biden as motivation for the law, which allows private citizens to sue police departments for as much as $50,000 for violations.
Police chiefs want lawmakers to make clear that the law applies only to federal gun rules enacted recently and that it doesn’t apply if police encounter a suspect committing crime. They also want the law to detail which federal gun crimes local police can help with.
It’s unclear whether lawmakers will take up the police chiefs’ recommendations in the session that starts in January. A staffer for one Republican sponsor, Sen. Eric Burlison, expressed interest in addressing law enforcement concerns. The other sponsor, Rep. Jered Taylor, has said he’s unwilling to consider changes to the law.