Police Chief Resigns Over Gun Law He Says Will Help Anti-Police Activists 'Torment Law Enforcement'

The police chief in O'Fallon, Missouri, Philip Dupuis, resigned Friday over concerns a GOP-led gun rights bill will allow anti-police activists to "torment law enforcement" for the foreseeable future.

Dupuis said his reason for leaving the police force after more than three decades in service was due to Missouri Governor Mike Parson's recent signing of H.B. 85. The "Second Amendment Preservation Act" seeks to establish more protections for gun laws. But Dupuis said this legislation will backfire and allow anti-firearm and anti-police demonstrators to harass officers.

In a statement discussing his departure after the passage of the gun rights bill, Dupuis said:

I completely understand the motivation behind Missouri legislators' desire to protect the gun rights of their citizenry. I'm a strong proponent of the Second Amendment and have always respected those rights during my four decades in law enforcement.

The problem with this statute is the poorly worded language that removes sovereign immunity and appears to allow law enforcement agencies and individual police officers to be sued for even good-faith, justified seizures of firearms in emergency circumstances.

Missouri GOP Rep. Jered Taylor drafted the initial legislation to create "additional protections to the right to bear arms" despite objections from the U.S. Department of Justice over provisions within the law.

Newsweek reached out Saturday to the O'Fallon Police Department for any additional responses to Dupuis' sudden exit.

"We are sorry to see Chief Dupuis leave, but we understand why he has made this decision," said Mayor Bill Hennessy, in a statement provided to KDSK-TV in Missouri. "In his short time here, Chief Dupuis has made a tremendous impact on our Police Department."

Dupuis, in his statement, warned that H.B. 85 "will create a flood of weaponized litigation that will chill the legitimate peace-keeping duties of police...the legislature appears to have handed anti-police activists a powerful weapon to abuse and torment law enforcement across the State of Missouri."

Dupuis went on to urge the state to "go back to the drawing board...I am going to have to step away from the job I truly love."

O'Fallon is no stranger to filling this role. City administrators replaced Tim Clothier, who resigned after 18 months, with Dupuis and has now named Major John Neske as acting police chief.

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University of Colorado police officer Andrew Matthews attends a press conference on March 26 in Boulder, Colorado, after 10 people were killed in a shooting at a King Soopers grocery store. MICHAEL CIAGLO / Stringer/Getty Images