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Minnesota: Pro-Gun Legislation Introduced and Awaiting Consideration in Minnesota Legislature

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Minnesota: Pro-Gun Legislation Introduced and Awaiting Consideration in Minnesota Legislature

Your NRA-ILA has been working with legislators this year to move forward with several important pieces of pro-gun legislation.  These measures are expected, with your support, to advance in the coming weeks.  Please begin contacting your legislators and the appropriate committee members in support of the following bills:

House File 830, authored by Representatives Eric Lucero (R-30B), Tony Cornish (R-23B) and David Dill (DFL-03A).  Should this measure pass, Minnesota would join more than 40 states that have conformed their statutes to federal law so that their residents can purchase rifles and shotguns in non-contiguous states, provided that the purchase or transfer complies with state and federal law.  Currently, Minnesota statute affirms that residents may purchase long guns in Minnesota and bordering states, but remains silent on whether or not residents might purchase long guns in non-contiguous states.  HF 830 and its Senate companion, Senate File 900 (authored by Senators Matt Schmit (DFL-21), Kent Eken (DFL-04), and Lyle Koenen (DFL-17)), would update this antiquated statute and affirm that Minnesotans have the freedom and ability to purchase long guns in states beyond their immediate borders.  For more information on non-contiguous state firearm purchases, see below.

HF 830 has been assigned to the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee, where it is expected to receive a hearing in the coming weeks.  Please contact members of the Committee and encourage their support of this legislation.  Contact information can be found here.

SF 900 has been assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.  Please call Chairman Ron Latz (DFL-46) and members of the Committee to request their support and a hearing.  Contact information can be found here.

House File 372, authored by Representatives Jim Nash (R-47), David Dill (DFL-03A) and Tim Miller (R-17A), modifies the Capitol Carry Notification provision.  Current statute allows permit holders to carry on the capitol complex as long as the permit holder “so notify the sheriff or the commissioner of public safety, as appropriate.”  This legislation would update and clarify the statute to provide that application for permit constitutes “notification,” as required.  HF 372 has been referred to the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee, where it is awaiting a hearing. 

House File 722, authored by Representatives Jim Newberger (R-15B), Eric Lucero (R-30B) and Josh Heintzeman (R-10A), would prohibit any government agency from confiscating or regulating the lawful possession, carrying, transfer, transportation and defensive use of firearms or ammunition during a state of emergency, like the actions that occurred in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana.  This important language was passed overwhelmingly by the House and Senate in 2012, but was part of a bill which Governor Dayton vetoed.  HF 722 will need your strong support this year to pass through the legislature and receive the Governor’s signature.  HF 722 has been assigned to the House Government Operations and Elections Policy Committee.  Call Chairman Tim Sanders (R-37B) and members of the Committee and urge them to support and hear HF 722.  Contact information can be found by clicking here.

Your NRA-ILA will continue to work closely with your legislators in the House and Senate, and expects that in the coming weeks more pro-gun bills will be filed to ensure your Second Amendment rights are protected and even restored.  Please keep an eye on your email for future legislative updates.

History of Non-Contiguous State Long Gun Purchase Legislation:

Originally, the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 banned interstate sales of firearms but contained an exception for long gun transactions occurring between federally licensed dealers (FFLs) and residents of contiguous states.  Such sales could occur only if “the purchaser’s State of residence permit[ted] such sale or delivery by law.”  Thus, states then passed provisions such as Minnesota Statutes Section 624.74, specifically allowing their residents to buy long guns from FFLs in contiguous states. 

FOPA, however, removed both the contiguous states limitation and the requirement that the purchaser’s state of residence specifically authorize the purchase.  Now, interstate sales of rifles and shotguns can occur between FFLs and residents of any state, as long as “the sale, delivery, and receipt fully comply with the legal conditions of sale in both such States.”  Some states which had passed enabling provisions similar to Minnesota Statutes Section 624.74 have not revised their statutes to reflect this change in federal law.  This has caused confusion among FFLs who interpret "contiguous state" provisions as prohibiting long gun sales to residents of noncontiguous states.  What used to be viewed as "permissive" in the context of the federal Gun Control Act is now viewed as "restrictive" under FOPA.

To eliminate this confusion, the best course of action is to repeal the antiquated provisions of Minnesota Statutes Section 624.74 which conflict with federal law.  That is what HF 830 and SF 900 would accomplish if enacted into law.

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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.