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Largest Gun Control Push in Minnesota History Started Today

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Contact House Public Safety, Finance and Policy Committee Members Immediately 

Today, the House Public Safety, Finance and Policy Committee began three days of hearings on multiple dangerous anti-gun bills.  They have already heard testimony on House Files 237 and 240, and will hear House Files  238, 239 and others this evening.  Please review the summaries below of the most egregious of these serious threats to our Second Amendment rights in Minnesota. Government officials would do better to focus on issues that would rationally address existing crime problems and empower the law-abiding public to protect themselves and loved ones than to target an entire class of people because it is politically popular at the moment. 

Please contact all members of the House Public Safety Committee TODAY and urge them to oppose the following bills and any other gun control legislation.  Thanks to the hundreds of Second Amendment supporters who showed up today in St. Paul to testify and show your support for our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  Your voice makes a difference!  For a schedule of this week’s hearings and information on how to testify, please click here.

1)         HF 237, introduced by Representative Michael Paymar (DFL-64B), would create new categories of “prohibited persons” for gun ownership and eliminate your fundamental rights without due process.  It would also require “universal background checks” on certain firearm purchases with limited exceptions, add new fees (taxes) for transfers and transferee permits, limit the ability of the permit to carry to function as transferee permit, and create a possible thirty-day waiting period to verify an individual’s identity during the application process for a transferee permit.

2)         HF 238, introduced by Representative Jim Davnie (DFL-63A), would make felons out of permit holders if they inadvertently carry on school property and would require forfeiture of the offending individual’s firearms.  Currently, the penalty for an honest mistake like this is a misdemeanor.

3)         HF 239, introduced by Representative Jim Davnie (DFL-63A), would increase the penalties on permit holders from $25 to $3,000 for a first-time infraction if he or she does not leave an establishment when requested.  This has never been a problem in the past and the NRA is unaware of any issues with permit holders disobeying the wishes of private establishments.

4)         HF 240, introduced by Representative Dan Schoen (DFL-54A), would add discretionary provisions to transferee and carry permits.  HF 240 would require individuals to obtain what is essentially a “doctor’s note” if the issuing officer believes – based only on undefined “past police contacts” – that the applicant is possibly dangerous or mentally ill.  The issuing officer would not be required to use the professional evaluation of a medical professional to determine your eligibility for a permit – and could expand the application process indefinitely.  In addition, this bill would weaken the appeal process for those denied a permit, and strengthen the ability for law enforcement officers to deny your right to carry by adding a long list of disqualifying factors to the application process.  This bill would also ban the issuance of non-resident permits – making it more difficult for friends and family visiting the state of Minnesota to protect themselves and their loved ones.

5)         HF 241, introduced by Representative Alice Hausman (DFL-66A) – would ban thousands of commonly owned semi-automatic handguns, rifles and shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and has even one "feature" from a list of mostly cosmetic components.  It would also ban all detachable-magazine semi-auto pistols that have any of the following: a threaded barrel, second pistol grip, or magazine that mounts anywhere other than the grip.  It would ban all semi-automatic rifles and handguns that have fixed magazines that accept more than seven rounds.  It would also ban all semi-automatic shotguns that have any of the following: a folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; a pistol grip; a fixed magazine that can accept more than seven rounds, a detachable magazine; a forward grip; a revolving cylinder. As with the rifle provision, this could potentially ban the vast majority of semi-auto shotguns, because they have pistol or forward grips.  Countless Americans rely on shotguns like these with pistol grips every day for home defense.  It would also ban "combinations of parts" from which "assault weapons" can be assembled.  Read broadly, this bill could ban the acquisition of a single spare part that could be combined with parts you already own.

HF 241 would require firearm owners to remove the weapon from the state, surrender their legally owned property to a law enforcement agency for destruction, render the weapon permanently inoperable, or if eligible, register the weapon.  Those possessing a banned firearm would face felony prosecution for violations. If a firearm was registered, the owner would have to submit to, among a long list of other requirements, visits and inspections from local law enforcement.  As such, honest gun owners would be treated like convicted criminals just for obeying the law.

6)         HF 242, introduced by Representative Alice Hausman (DFL-66A), would ban millions of standard capacity magazines.

HF 242 would ban the manufacture, import, transfer or possession of “large-capacity magazines.”  A large capacity magazine is defined as an ammunition-feeding device with the capacity to accept more than ten rounds.  Under this bill, there are very limited exceptions that apply to the government, military and certain manufacturers – but not to individual citizens who rely on these commonly owned magazines for self-defense.  This bill mandates that 120 days from August 1, 2013, any individual possessing a “large-capacity” magazine in violation of the law would face felony prosecution.

HF 242 would require individuals with magazines over ten rounds to permanently alter the magazine so it cannot accommodate more than ten rounds, remove the large-capacity magazine from the state, or surrender their legally owned property to a law enforcement agency for destruction.  Millions of Americans possess magazines that hold more than ten rounds – as they are the standard magazine in the most popular weapons used for self-defense, target shooting and hunting.  This policy will only affect the law-abiding, and will have no impact on crime since it will be ignored by criminals like other restrictions.

7)         HF 298, introduced by Representative Raymond Dehn (DFL-59B), would overturn Minnesota’s firearm preemption law.  Currently, localities cannot enact more restrictive gun laws than current state statute.  With this change, localities could enact any ordinance they choose under the guise of public safety – creating a patchwork of anti-gun ordinances throughout the state.

Please contact all members of the House Public Safety Committee TODAY as well as your state legislators and urge them to oppose all gun control legislation this session, especially the above mentioned bills.   

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