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Minnesota: Legislature Considering Ominous Bill Designed to Suppress Political Speech, Anti-Gun Legislation to Receive Committee Consideration

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Your immediate action needed to stop suppression of political speech in Minnesota

House File 1944 and Senate File 1915, dangerous, politically motivated measures aimed at suppressing political speech by membership organizations such as the NRA, are moving quickly through the Minnesota legislature.  These fatally flawed bills pose a grave risk to freedom of speech in Minnesota and impose excessive regulatory burdens on political and commercial interests.  Additionally, this legislation would inhibit the NRA’s ability to provide candidate information at critical times before an election.  Your action is needed immediately – please contact your state Senator and Representative TODAY and demand their opposition to any legislation that inhibits your First Amendment freedom needed to protect your Second Amendment rights.  Contact information for state Senators can be found here.  Contact information for state Representatives can be found hereClick here to find out who represents you.

HF 1944 and SF 1915 would require organizations like the NRA, who engage in political speech, to immediately disclose the names of many of their donors, including those who pay membership dues.  These bills are intended to suppress political speech by organizations such as the NRA and others who communicate with their members.  These bills are overly broad, vague and would chill election-related speech.

HF 1944 is eligible for House consideration AT ANY TIME.

SF 1915 is scheduled to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee this Friday, March 21, at 12:00 noon.  Please contact members of this committee and urge them to OPPOSE this misguided legislation. Committee members’ contact information can be found here.

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The state legislature is also considering several measures, House File 3067 and Senate File 2690, to impose additional regulations, serious penalties and red tape on permit holders who choose to carry their firearms while visiting the State Capitol Complex.  At this time, a law-abiding permit holder can carry in the State Capitol Complex as long as the permit holder has notified the Commissioner of Public Safety of their intent to do so in advance.

The additional superfluous proposed regulations would do nothing to improve the notification requirement or process, but instead would create traps for law-abiding permit holders.  This proposed legislation would go so far as to mandate an arbitrary “renewal” period for those permit holders who previously sought permission to carry on Capitol grounds, requiring that “within 30 days of the renewal date of a person’s permit to carry, the person shall renotify the commissioner of the person’s intent to carry,” or the permit holder could face a felony.  

Anti-gun legislators have been attempting to ban the carrying of firearms in the state Capitol, and since they have continuously failed at instituting a ban, are setting traps for law-abiding permit holders who choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights while petitioning their elected officials.  The carrying of firearms for self-defense by law-abiding permit holders is not a threat to security at the state Capitol.  It is an affront to law-abiding Minnesotans to insinuate that permit holders are dangerous criminals who should be feared while on Capitol grounds.  Minnesota gun owners should not have to choose between their own security and participation in the legislative process.

HF 3067 is scheduled to be heard TOMORROW, March 20, by the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee at 10:00 a.m.  Please contact members of this committee and urge them to OPPOSE this ill-conceived legislation.  Contact information for committee members can be found here.

SF 2690 is scheduled to be heard TOMORROW, March 20, by the Senate Judiciary Committee at 12:00 p.m. Please contact members of this committee and urge them to OPPOSE this dangerous legislation. Contact information for committee members can be found here.

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