Steven Anthony, KMOX State Capitol Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (MDN) — The largest gun organization in the nation has not taken a public position on a bill that would nullify federal gun laws in Missouri.

The National Rifle Association has been largely silent on one of the most controversial bills that passed the legislature this past session. That does not sit well with House Minority Whip John Rizzo, D-Kansas City. He said the NRA needs to tell Missourians its stance on HB 436.

Sen. Joseph Keaveny, D-St. Louis, did not vote for the bill when it passed the Senate 26-6 and he does not intend to vote to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto.

“The bill was extreme,” he said. “There’s a couple very problematic parts of the bill, some of them which I think are unconstitutional. The challenge to the Supremacy Clause, but there are some other parts in there that the more we vet this thing out, the more troubling they get.”

Attorney General Chris Koster wrote a letter to Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones on Tuesday where he raised three issues about the bill. One issue is the provision in the bill where criminals could sue a police officer for enforcing federal gun laws. Koster called that provision “bewildering and discouraging” in his letter to Jones, R-Eureka.

Keaveny agreed with Koster’s letter. When asked if he thinks the governor’s veto will be overriden, Keaveny said he wasn’t sure.

“I think more are coming over to sustain the veto now than there were a week ago, but as for a final vote count, I really don’t know where it is,” Keaveny said.

The NRA could not be reached for comment.

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