Jefferson City, Mo. • A Missouri measure attempting to nullify some federal gun control laws fell a single vote short of enactment Wednesday as the leaders of the state's Republican-led Senate joined with Democrats to prevent a veto override.
Senators voted 22-12 for the veto override, coming up just shy of the required two-thirds majority. Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey and Majority Leader Ron Richard split from the rest of the GOP caucus that they lead to sustain Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto.
The override attempt had passed the Republican-led House 109-49, getting the bare minimum number of votes needed.
The legislation declared that any federal policies that "infringe on the people's right to keep and bear arms" shall be invalid in Missouri. It would have allowed state misdemeanor charges to be brought against federal authorities who attempted to enforce those laws or anyone who published the identity of a gun owner.
"My love of the Second Amendment doesn't trump my love of the First Amendment," Dempsey told reporters after the vote.
Nixon vetoed the gun bill in July while warning that it infringed on First Amendment free-speech rights and also violated the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, which gives precedence to federal laws over conflicting state ones. "It's unconstitutional, it's unsafe and it's unnecessary," Nixon said at a news conference before the Senate vote.