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Suburban St. Louis police chief resigns over new gun law

June 19, 2021 GMT

O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) — A suburban St. Louis police chief has resigned over concerns about a new Missouri law that would ban police from enforcing federal gun rules.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Philip Dupuis, who had been the police chief of the city of O’Fallon since October 2020, cited the “poor wording” and “unintended consequences” of the high-profile bill.

Signed into law just last week, it allows officers to be sued if they try to enforce federal gun laws. Dupuis said that makes officers vulnerable during “good faith, justified seizures of firearms.”

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In a letter sent Wednesday night and obtained by The Associated Press, Justice Department officials pointed out that federal law trumps state law under the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause. But Gov. Mike Parson and Attorney General Eric Schmitt wrote that they still plan to enforce the new law.

Dupuis joined the O’Fallon Police Department after a 10-year stint as police chief in a suburb of Houston. He was the city’s second new police chief in as many years.

He said in a statement that the law also would “decrease public safety and increase frivolous lawsuits designed to harass and penalize good, hard-working law enforcement agencies.”