Last week, two pro-gun bills aimed at respecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Minnesotans were introduced in the Minnesota Legislature. Senate File 1435, sponsored by state Senators Paul E. Gazelka (R-09), David J. Tomassoni (DFL-06), and Lyle Koenen (DFL-17) in the state Senate, and House File 1434, sponsored by state Representatives Tony Cornish (R-23B), Mark Anderson (R-09A), and David Dill (DFL-03A) in the state House, are companion bills that would legalize ownership and possession of firearm sound suppressors.
Suppressors, sometimes referred to as “silencers,” are items covered under the National Firearms Act. Currently illegal to own under Minnesota law, suppressors are legal to own under federal law and in 39 states. While they do not eliminate the sound of a firearm, suppressors do reduce the muzzle report of the gun much in the same way that a muffler reduces exhaust noise from a car or truck.
There are numerous benefits associated with the use of suppressors. These benefits include increased accuracy due to reduced recoil and muzzle blast, protection from hearing damage and reduced noise pollution. Noise complaints are frequently used as an excuse to close shooting ranges, informal shooting areas and hunting lands throughout the country. Increased use of suppressors will help to eliminate many of these complaints and protect hunting and shooting areas well into the future.
Also included in SF 1435 and HF 1434 is a “shall sign” provision, requiring that certification by a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO), when a signoff is required for the transfer of a firearm or other item regulated by the National Firearms Act ("NFA"), be provided within 15 days as long as the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving it. Under current law, a CLEO may refuse to sign off for any reason, including their own personal feelings toward NFA-related items, which has created issues for law-abiding citizens. By removing any possibility of personal bias, which may reside behind many CLEO's refusing to sign off, and creating a statewide standard, SF 1435 and HF 1434 protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners across Minnesota.
SF 1435 has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, while HF 1434 has been referred to the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee. These pro-gun bills need your help! It is critical that you contact members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee immediately in support of both SF 1435 and HF 1434.