Some of those consequences were detailed in the Justice Department’s affidavit.
Nearly a quarter of state and local law enforcement officials who work directly with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — 12 of 53 officials — have withdrawn from working with the joint task force. State and local agencies have also begun to restrict federal access to investigative resources, including the Missouri Information Analysis Center, a state crime database and the Kansas City Police Department’s filing system.
The Columbia Police Department, home to the University of Missouri’s flagship campus, went so far as to disconnect from a national database of ballistics data on weapons and ammunition found at crime scenes, ATF officials reported.
The law “has, and will continue to do, significant damage to law enforcement in the state of Missouri,” wrote Brian M. Boynton, the acting chief of the Civil Division of the Department of Justice.
A show of strength
The battle in Missouri began about ten years ago, with a resistance against a resistance.
After the 2012 massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, President Barack Obama proposed a series of gun control measures, culminating in a failed Congressional effort to expand background checks on gun buyers.
The backlash from Republican-controlled state legislators was more enduring and successful.
The federal government has the constitutional authority to enact national gun laws, but the gun lobby and congressional Republicans thwarted nearly all major initiatives after an assault weapons ban enacted in the 1990s expired in 2004.
The most powerful regulatory tool in Washington’s arsenal – the national background check system for arms buyers – is administered directly by the FBI through authorized local arms dealers and is beyond the reach of states. But Republican-controlled lawmakers in recent years have vastly expanded access to gun ownership, even blocking limited restrictions, such as Democratic proposals for local “red flag” laws designed to keep firearms out of the hands of people who endanger themselves. or others.