Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Thank you to several folks from the Princeton and Milaca area who have visited recently including Milaca High School FFA and their adviser, Leann Pietrzak; Hayden Hultman, high school page from Milaca High School; and Tonya Pettibone, a former Princeton High School graduate, and her son, Tyler.
On Wednesday, the House Public Safety Committee held a hearing on two bills that have serious implications for law-abiding gun owners and the Second Amendment.
As your representative, I have long been a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and law-abiding citizens’ right to keep and bear arms. I will not support legislation that infringes on that right.
The first bill, House File 8, establishes universal background checks that would make routine transfers between friends and family extremely difficult. This bill would establish a gun registry that requires private sellers and buyers to complete a transaction by signing, dating, and recording the serial number of a firearm on a form created by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and to keep those documents in perpetuity. These individuals would then be guilty of a gross misdemeanor if they were unable to produce these documents if asked by law enforcement.
The overwhelming majority of criminally acquired guns are obtained from illegal sources. Minnesota already has background checks in place and it’s unclear how this added step would do anything to reduce crime. California enacted a universal background check and a UC-Davis study revealed no changes in firearm homicide or suicide rates 10 years later.
Ultimately, this legislation would do little to stop criminals. Instead, it would make it harder for law-abiding gun owners to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
The second bill, House File 9, creates an “extreme risk protection order”. This would permit a court to take away an individual’s firearms if they are accused of being a danger to themselves or others through an “ex-parte” hearing process where the accused is not present and cannot offer a defense.
Law enforcement would then deliver the order and seize the individual’s firearms without the accused knowing that an accusation had been levied against them.
Put simply, this bill violates due process by allowing the seizure of property without a warrant. Ultimately it treats an individual as guilty until proven innocent and does nothing to stop those that are intent on doing harm to others.
Despite my personal opposition to these bills, the reality is that both of these pieces of legislation are likely to pass the House. It is my hope that the Senate will hold firm on these bills and make sure they do not become law. I urge you to contact your Senator and make sure your voice is heard.
Staying in Touch
That’s all for this week’s update. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns regarding a matter related to state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-6746 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great weekend,