Last week the 97th General Assembly of the state of Missouri was sworn in. Amidst all the grandeur of the day and the stateliness of the House chamber—a setting that reflects almost 200 years of our state's history—I raised my right hand and repeated the oath of office, solemnly swearing to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Missouri.
What an awesome responsibility and honor it is for me to have the privilege to serve and represent the good citizens of Newton County in Missouri's "House of the People." Certainly I feel an obligation and duty to all the constituents I serve, as well as to all the people of our great state. I want everyone to know that the seat I occupy in the 97th General Assembly belongs to all the citizens of the 160th District. I will, to the best of my ability, represent each of you in Jefferson City.
During the past Legislative Session and throughout the last year, I appreciated hearing your comments, opinions, and concerns that pertained to current issues. Your input helped me to understand and better stay in touch with things that interested and affected you. Knowing your concerns helped me to more fully address your needs. Please continue to communicate with me.
This past week, most of my calls and emails were in regard to our nation's Second Amendment rights. Amendment two of the United States' Constitution's Bill of Rights guarantees "the right of the people to keep and bear arms…." It further states that this right "… shall not be infringed." Recent conversations and contacts I have received regarding Second Amendment rights were very much on my mind as I repeated the oath of office in the House chamber.
Second Amendment rights are not just on my mind, they are very much on the minds of a large percentage of Americans today as a result of Vice-President Biden's Gun Violence Committee, a White House task force. The purpose of this committee was to pursue initiatives, both executively and legislatively, as they held hearings and discussed the gun violence we have experienced in our nation in the past several months.
Some of Biden's comments—comments that are troubling to many law-abiding Americans—have been frequently repeated in various newscasts. Biden stated: "It is critically important to act on guns now." He said that committee recommendations could open the door to an executive order, though Biden did not offer specifics on the types of measures that his committee was contemplating. However, the three most discussed issues were increased background checks, assault weapon and magazine bans, and mental health issues. In fairness to the vice-president, he did try to bring all sides to the table, including the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Page 2 of 2 - After the meeting the NRA stated that they were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack our guaranteed rights. Alarming proposals are being considered at the federal level—proposals that show contempt and disrespect for the Constitution and the Congress of the United States and which are intended to restrict our Second Amendment Constitutional rights. In response, lawmakers in several states are considering legislation that would make any federal law banning semi-automatic weapons or limiting the size of gun magazines to be unenforceable within the boundaries of their states.
In Missouri, there has been a bill introduced which is similar to a Wyoming bill that prohibits federal legislation banning these weapons or limiting the size of magazines in their state. Missouri's bill will be considered this session. Its intent is to combat the impending encroachment on our basic Second Amendment rights.
A summary of Missouri's bill specifies that it will be unlawful for any officer or employee of the state, any political subdivision, or any licensed federal firearms dealer to enforce or attempt to enforce a federal law relating to a personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition that is owned or manufactured in this state and remains exclusively within the boundaries of the state. Any federal official who enforces or attempts to enforce such federal law or order will be guilty of a Class B felony. The Attorney General may defend any citizen in violation of such federal order. Further, any federal law or order created or made effective after January 1, 2013 is unenforceable in the state if such law attempts to ban or restrict ownership of a semi-automatic firearm or a magazine or requires registration in any manner.
The talk of an executive order and the possibility of going around Congress isn't just an attack on our Second Amendment rights; it is an all-out assault on our form of government and our Constitution. Today, some of our elected officials have no fear in trampling all over the Constitution.
"Where the people fear the government, you have tyranny; where the government fears the people, you have liberty." - John Basil Barnhill.
If I can be of help to you with these or any other state matter, please do not hesitate to contact me by one of the following means:
Mail: Bill Reiboldt, Office 235-BB, State Capitol, 201 W. Capitol, Jefferson City, MO 65101. Telephone: (573) 751-9781. Personal cell phone: 417-456-0441. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. My website is www.billreiboldt.com
Find me on Facebook at facebook.com/morepbill or follow me on Twitter @MORepBill.
Bill Reiboldt represents the people of Southwest Missouri in the Missouri House of Representatives.