The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday declined to reinstate a Missouri law that bars authorities from enforcing federal gun laws.
The justices rejected a request by Missouri to overturn a ruling by a federal judge that invalidated the 2021 law, known as the Second Amendment Preservation Act, Reuters reported.
The Biden administration sued Missouri in 2022 to block the law. It had urged the Supreme Court not to revive the measure, arguing that it violated a constitutional provision called the “supremacy clause” that makes federal law supersede conflicting state laws, the news outlet said.
The administration said that the measure improperly interfered with U.S. firearms regulations and undermined public safety and that caused Missouri state and local police agencies to stop assisting in enforcement of federal gun laws.
Justice Clarence Thomas on Friday indicated that he would have reinstated the Missouri law.
U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes invalidated the law in a March, ruling he determined was a violation of the supremacy clause.
“While purporting to protect citizens, (the Missouri law) exposes citizens to greater harm by interfering with the federal government’s ability to enforce lawfully enacted firearms regulations designed by Congress for the purpose of protecting citizens,” he wrote.
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey remained undeterred after the ruling.
“Today’s SCOTUS ruling on SAPA was a purely procedural matter. We remain undeterred in our defense of Missourians’ Second Amendment rights. @POTUS, see you at the Eighth Circuit,” he wrote on X.
The Supreme Court expanded gun rights in a 2022 decision authored by Thomas. It is hearing arguments next month in the first case stemming from last year’s ruling.
An appeals court invalidated a federal law that aims to keep guns away from people facing domestic violence restraining orders.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.