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Minnesota: Your Immediate Action Needed to Stop Suppression of Political Speech, Anti-Gun Language to Now be Considered in Finance Bills

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

House File 1944 and Senate File 1915, politically motivated measures aimed at suppressing political speech by membership organizations such as the NRA, continue to move quickly through the Minnesota legislature.  These flawed and dangerous bills pose a grave risk to freedom of speech in Minnesota and overreach to impose excessive regulatory burdens on political interests.  HF 1944 and SF 1915 would require organizations like the NRA, who engage in political speech, to disclose the names of many of their donors, including those who pay membership dues.  This legislation would re-brand what is now recognized as free speech as “elections speech,” thereby subjecting it to strict and onerous regulations – regulations that would tell organizations what they can and cannot say depending on the time of year.  This legislation would even go so far as to inhibit the NRA’s ability to provide candidate information at critical times before an election.  This legislation is simply an attempt by state politicians to control and discourage any criticism of them and their records.

Your immediate action is needed – please contact your state Senator and Representative TODAY and demand their opposition to any legislation that attacks your First Amendment freedom vital to protect your Second Amendment rights.  Contact information for state Senators can be found here.  Contact information for state Representatives can be found here.  Click here to identify who represents you.

HF 1944 is eligible for House consideration AT ANY TIME.

SF 1915 is scheduled to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow at 6:00 pm.  Please contact members of this committee TODAY and urge them to OPPOSE this onerous legislation.  Committee members’ contact information can be found here.

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Your NRA reported last week on House File 3067 and Senate File 2690.  These bills, as originally written, would have imposed additional regulations, penalties and red tape on permit holders who choose to carry their firearms while visiting the State Capitol Complex.  The NRA worked with the bill sponsors to amend this legislation in committee to remove any worrisome passages.

However, attempts are now being made to incorporate that same anti-gun language to entrap gun owners who wish to carry in the state Capitol into House File 3172 and Senate File 2785.  These additional superfluous 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 mandate an arbitrary “renewal” period for those permit holders who previously had notified authorities of their intention 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.  This language is hidden among over 200 pages of bill text, does not improve capitol security and merely gives gun owners another unnecessary hoop to jump through.  Please contact the sponsors of HF 3172 and SF 2785, state Representative Lyndon Carlson Sr. (DFL-45A) and state Senator Richard Cohen (DFL-64), and URGE them to remove this dangerous language!

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.  Minnesota gun owners should not have to choose between their own security and participation in the legislative process.

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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.