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Minnesota: House Concludes Three Day Hearings, But the Fight for our Second Amendment Rights is Just Beginning

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Today, the House Public Safety, Finance and Policy Committee concluded its three-day marathon of hearings on multiple dangerous anti-gun bills.  As previously reported, these bills are the beginning of an all out assault on our constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  Although this Committee has not yet scheduled a vote on any of this legislation, gun owners and sportsmen in Minnesota must actively express opposition before action is taken.

Hundreds of Second Amendment supporters and patriots crammed into hearing rooms in St. Paul over the last three days and there is no doubt their presence has made a real difference.  During this time, this committee heard a variety of different bills designed to restrict, tax and even confiscate legally owned firearms in order to score political points in the wake of an unspeakable tragedy.  In the coming weeks, it is expected that these different bills will be combined into one large omnibus bill so that it will be easier to ram through the state legislature as quickly as possible.  You cannot let that happen!

Your NRA-ILA will continue to update you as more details about this looming gun ban become available.  However, NOW is the time to contact your state Representative and members of the House Public Safety Committee.  Let them know that you will not tolerate more restrictions on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

The most egregious of these bills and their brief descriptions are provided below:

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 criminalize the private sale of any handgun or semiautomatic rifle with limited exceptions for immediate family, add new fees (taxes) for transfers and transferee permits, limit the ability of the permit to carry to function as transferee permit, and give the state as long as thirty days to process an application for a transferee permit, up from the current 7-day period.

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 extend 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 gun owners to remove the firearm 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 those bills mentioned above.

House Public Safety Committee:

Representative Michael Paymar (DFL) – Chairman

651-296-4199

E-mail: rep.michael.paymar@house.mn

 

Representative Paul Rosenthal (DFL) – Vice Chairman

651-296-7803

E-mail: rep.paul.rosenthal@house.mn

 

Representative Tony Cornish (R) – Republican Lead 651-296-4240

E-mail: rep.tony.cornish@house.mn

          

Representative Debra Hilstrom (DFL)

651-296-3709

E-mail: rep.debra.hilstrom@house.mn

 

Representative Brian Johnson (R)

651-296-4346

E-mail: rep.brian.johnson@house.mn

 

Representative Tim Kelly (R)

651-296-8635

E-mail: rep.tim.kelly@house.mn

 

Representative Andrea Kieffer (R)

651-296-1147

E-mail: rep.andrea.kieffer@house.mn

 

Representative John Lesch (DFL)

651-296-4224

E-mail: rep.john.lesch@house.mn

 

Representative Kathy Lohmer (R)

651-296-4244

E-mail: rep.kathy.lohmer@house.mn

 

Representative Joe Mullery (DFL)

651-296-4262

E-mail: rep.joe.mullery@house.mn

 

Representative Jim Newberger (R)

651-296-2451

E-mail: rep.jim.newberger@house.mn

 

Representative Shannon Savick (DFL)

651-296-8216

E-mail: rep.shannon.savick@house.mn

 

Representative Dan Schoen (DFL)

651-296-4342

E-mail: rep.dan.schoen@house.mn

 

Representative Steve Simon (DFL)

651-296-9889

E-mail: rep.steve.simon@house.mn

 

Representative Erik Simonson (DFL)

651-296-4246

E-mail: rep.erik.simonson@house.mn

 

Representative Linda Slocum (DFL)

651-296-7158

E-mail: rep.linda.slocum@house.mn

 

Representative Mark Uglem (R)

651-296-5513

E-mail: rep.mark.uglem@house.mn

 

Representative John Ward (DFL)

651-296-4333

E-mail: rep.john.ward@house.mn

 

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.