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Minnesota House Passes Three Anti-Gun Bills

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The Minnesota Senate Building
The Minnesota Senate Building

Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed three gun control bills, one of which is unquestionably unconstitutional and unlikely to have legal enforcement mechanisms.

Perhaps the most pernicious of three bills is the so-called safe storage act, HF 4300, that requires firearms to be unloaded and locked or stored in a locked location when not in possession of the user.

Without irony, the bill acknowledges that current law already addresses this:

Under current law, it is a crime to store or leave a loaded firearm in a location where the person knows, or should know, that a child is likely to gain access to the firearm unless the person takes reasonable action to prevent a child from accessing the firearm.

The bill doesn’t define mechanisms of enforcement (which would likely violate numerous civil liberties), but it does define the penalty, which include both misdemeanor and felony charges. The Democrat-led chamber voted 68-64 to pass this bill.

A second bill requires gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement within 48 hours of realizing they are missing.

House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, said, “This bill actually criminalizes victims who have had their firearm stolen instead of holding the perpetrators of the crime accountable.” She added, “As you know, they are on a full mission to push the gun control bills you have heard about. All that does is make it harder for Minnesotans to use their Second amendment Rights.”

A third bill, passed with a vote of 71-59, punitively increases penalties for straw purchases to a felony charge, up from the current misdemeanor charge, and a two year prison sentence. Three Republicans joined in favor of this bill.

All three bills still have to go through the Minnesota Senate where they face a tougher path for approval before they can get to Governor Tim Walz’s desk, who has said he would sign the bills into law if they reach his desk.

“As a gun owner, veteran, hunter, and dad, I know that basic gun safety is a critical part of responsible gun ownership,” said Gov. Tim Walz after House passage. “I applaud the House for passing a trio of common sense bills that would make Minnesota safer by making sure guns don’t fall into the wrong hands. I am ready to sign this legislation into law as soon as it reaches my desk.”

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