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Missouri, Justice Department feud complicates joint program

A crime-fighting partnership between Missouri and the Justice Department is caught in the middle of a dispute over a new Missouri law banning local police from enforcing federal gun laws.

The Department of Justice teamed up with the Missouri attorney general's office to fight violent crime under the Safer Streets Initiative. Missouri's Republican attorney general, Eric Schmitt, said this week that the federal government withdrew from the program after filing a lawsuit this week seeking to block enforcement of Missouri's new gun law.

However, although Missouri assistant attorneys general working for the St. Louis-based U.S. attorney were dropped from the program last week, the partnership with the Western District U.S. attorney remains.