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Democrats advance bill with controversial gun control policies

Tuesday, April 30, 2019


ST. PAUL – Early Tuesday morning, House Democrats voted to approve their public safety omnibus bill (HF2792) with two controversial gun control bills included, expanding background checks and allowing court-ordered firearms seizures.

“These provisions do nothing to actually prevent gun violence or keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” said Rep. Shane Mekeland, R-Clear Lake. “I doubt that anyone who is capable of committing the worst-imaginable crimes will let a new regulation stop them. It will just be the rest of us who obey the law and treat the Second Amendment with utmost respect that will suffer the consequences under what amounts to be a gun registry. Thank goodness the Senate has said these awful gun bills are dead on arrival.

One of the measures places new burdens on gun owners and creates several new restrictive requirements, including background checks, on the private transfer of firearms. It also only allows one firearm per permit to purchase, which expires after 30 days, and imposes a requirement for private parties to keep records in perpetuity. Even transfers between friends would require individuals to pay a fee, and individuals would be guilty of a gross misdemeanor if they misplaced transfer paperwork and were unable to produce it to authorities.

The other measure implements a so-called “red-flag” law by permitting the removal of a person’s firearms if a court grants an order for an extreme risk protection order. This could be done through an ex-parte process where the accused is not present to offer a counter to the accusation, raising due process concerns among lawmakers. Under the proposal, law enforcement would be responsible for delivering the order and executing the firearm seizure without the accused knowing an accusation has been made against them.

The bill passed on a 70-64 vote with five Democrats voting against the bill, the most of any budget bill thus far in the 2019 session.


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