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Minnesota: Anti-Second Amendment Bill To Be Heard in Committee Tomorrow, March 3!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

On Wednesday, March 3, the House Civil Justice Committee will hold a hearing on House File 1396.  This bill includes a provision that would allow a court that issues a domestic abuse protective order to prohibit the respondent from having any contact with a PET OR COMPANION ANIMAL OWNED, POSSESSED, OR KEPT by a party protected in the order.  This new provision could have serious consequences for Minnesotans who exercise their right to keep and bear arms.

Under Minnesota law, a person who is convicted of violating an order of protection may not possess a pistol for three years from the date of conviction.  However, if the court finds the person "used" a firearm in any way during the commission of the violation, the court may prohibit the person from possessing any firearm for ANY period longer than three years or for the remainder of the person’s life.  In the latter case, the court shall also order that the firearm be summarily forfeited.  Because this bill would allow a court to order the respondent to have no contact with the pet or companion animal, such an order could be violated merely by inadvertent contact with a "protected" pet.  Thus, depending on the circumstances of the contact, a person could be subject to these firearms prohibitions for contacting the pet or companion animal, whether or not the contact resulted in injury or trauma to the animal.

Any number of relatively innocent or unintentional scenarios could easily be imagined for such contact.  Even intentional contact with a pet that is the subject of a protective order is clearly too low a threshold for a person to lose the ability to exercise a fundamental constitutional right.  The same considerations simply do not apply to contact with animals as apply to contact with people.  While this bill was originally designed to protect animals, it would also provide unintended and unjustified deprivation of people’s Second Amendment Rights. 

Please contact the members of the Civil Justice Committee TODAY and respectfully urge them to oppose HF 1396. Contact information is listed below.

State Representative Joe Mullery (Committee Chair) (58A- DFL)
651-296-4262
rep.joe.mullery@house.mn 

State Representative Gail Kulick Jackson (Vice Committee Chair) (16A- DFL)
651-296-6746
rep.gailkulick.jackson@house.mn 

State Representative Steve Drazkowski (28B- R)
651-296-2273
rep.steve.drazkowski@house.mn 

State Representative Bobby Joe Champion (58B- DFL)
651-296-8659
rep.bobby.champion@house.mn 

State Representative Debra Hilstrom (46B- DFL)
651-296-3709
rep.debra.hilstrom@house.mn 

State Representative Mary Liz Holberg (36A- R)
651-296-6926
rep.maryliz.holberg@house.mn 

State Representative Sheldon Johnson (67B- DFL)
651-296-4201
rep.sheldon.johnson@house.mn 

State Representative Tim Kelly (28A- R)
651-296-8635
rep.tim.kelly@house.mn 

State Representative Tim Mahoney (67A- DFL)
651-296-4277
rep.tim.mahoney@house.mn 

State Representative Dave Olin (1A- DFL)
651-296-9635
rep.dave.olin@house.mn

State Representative Michael Paymar (64B- DFL)
651-296-4199
rep.michael.paymar@house.mn 

State Representative Peggy Scott (49A- R)
651-296-4231
rep.peggy.scott@house.mn 

State Representative Torrey Westrom (11A- R)
651-296-4929

rep.torrey.westrom@house.mn

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