On Tuesday, April 28, House File 849 passed the Minnesota House of Representatives by an overwhelming 115-19 vote with NRA-backed provisions included. As previously reported, HF 849 is the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy Committee's omnibus policy and finance bill authored by state Representative Tony Cornish (R-23B). Along with other policies unrelated to firearms, HF 849 contains the following pro-gun provisions:
- 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.
- Align Minnesota with 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.
- Modify the Capitol Carry Notification provision. Current statute allows permit holders to carry on the capitol complex as long as permit holders “notify the sheriff or the commissioner of public safety, as appropriate.” This legislation would update and clarify the statute to provide that application for a permit constitutes “notification,” as required.
- Provide a language change to help resolve carry permit reciprocity issues.
- Legalize ownership and possession of firearm sound suppressors. Currently illegal to own under Minnesota law, suppressors are legal to own under federal law and in 39 states.
- Create a “shall sign” provision, requiring that certification by a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO), when a sign-off 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.
Last week, HF 849’s Senate companion, Senate File 878 was passed by the Senate. Your NRA ILA reported on SF 878 here. While these measures contain similar provisions as it relates to NRA legislation, there are many other policy differences between the bills. These measures will be sent to conference committee in the coming weeks to resolve these differences. It is important that you contact both the House and Senate conferees and encourage their support of these important pro-gun provisions as the final legislation takes shape!
Conference Committee Members:
Representative Tony Cornish (R-23B)
Representative Brian Johnson (R-32A)
Representative Jerry Hertaus (R-33A)
Representative Debra Hilstrom (DFL-40B)
Senator Ron Latz (DFL-46)
Senator Bobby Joe Champion (DFL-59)
Senator D. Scott Dibble (DFL-61)
Senator David H Senjem (R-25)