The 2011 legislative session is underway, and GOCRA is working hard to preserve and extend the rights of Minnesota gun owners. Wednesday, in a 10-7 vote, Representative Steve Drazkowski’s House File 161 passed the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance committee. HF161 is a bill to eliminate the requirement to get a purchase permit from your local police department before purchasing a handgun or scary-looking rifle from a licensed dealer. That permit process, passed in 1977, has been redundant since the federally-mandated “instant” background check system was implemented in 1998, and now just wastes the time of law-abiding citizens and police agencies alike. The bill’s next stop is the Civil Law committee. A hearing has not yet been scheduled, but we’ll let you know when it is. There’s lots more detail, below, if you’re interested, but for now, could you do these two things? 1. Please take a moment for a thank-you email or phone call to the representatives who voted to pass this common-sense proposal. They are: Representative Tony Cornish – Chair
Representative Kelby Woodard – Vice Chair
Representative Glenn Gruenhagen
Representative Tim Kelly
Representative Andrea Kieffer
Representative John Kriesel
Representative Ernie Leidiger
Representative Joe McDonald
Representative Bud Nornes
Representative Steve Smith
2. Contact members of the Civil Law committee to express your support for the bill. They are:
Torrey Westrom – Committee Chair
Representative Steve Drazkowski – Vice Chair
(* Drazkowski is the bill’s author. He clearly supports it, but cheer him on anyway!)
Representative John Lesch – DFL Lead
Representative Glenn Gruenhagen
Representative Debra Hilstrom
Representative Bill Hilty
Representative Mary Liz Holberg
Representative Joe Hoppe
Representative Melissa Hortman
Representative Tim Mahoney
Representative Pat Mazorol
Representative Joyce Peppin
Representative Sandra Peterson
Representative Linda Runbeck
Representative Peggy Scott
Representative Steve Simon
Representative Doug Wardlow
Here are more details:
In Minnesota, before you can buy a handgun or a “semiautomatic military-style assault weapon” (that’s gun-banner language for a scary-looking black rifle) from a gun store, you must first go to your local police station and apply for a Minnesota “Permit to Purchase.” This permit means that the department has run a background check and found that you’re not disqualified from purchasing such a gun.
If the department does its job, you get a purchase permit card within a week. If the department is too busy, arrogant or careless, it may take two weeks, three weeks, or even longer. Some anti-gun police departments are notoriously slow, blatantly ignoring the state-mandated seven-day deadline. And though the law is clear, it is also toothless, providing no incentive for misbehaving police departments to comply.
Once you get the card, go to the store, and choose a gun, you then have to fill out an ATF “4473 form,” and the dealer phones in your info to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which then approves (or, if you’re disqualified, rejects) the sale, by performing another set of background checks, based on the exact same data that the police department took so long to deliver. This NICS check looks for disqualifications under both federal and state law.
With tight budgets at every level of Minnesota government, we cannot afford to overlook opportunities to save money. This background check redundancy is completely unnecessary, and is a waste of time and valuable law enforcement resources, not to mention the annual inconvenience to law-abiding Minnesotans.
Please make a donation to GOCRA. Without your support, we can’t continue the fight for your rights.
Visit our web site at gocra.org, follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook.
Mr. Rothman – I watched your debate regarding why a 33 bullet clip is no different than a 10 or 16 clip as you said the clips can be changed out in a 1/2 second. I am not an owner of this type of gun and you are probably correct that some very skilled people can change clips as fast as you state, but don’t you think that the only people who would really benefit from a 33 bullet clip would be a less skilled user of the weapon as they wouldn’t have to fumble with changing clips? (Sound like the AZ killer is not as skilled since he was slow in reloading). It seems to me that a clip holding this many bullets does not add any benefit to a responsbile user and those people who can change clips in a 1/2 second wouldn’t need this size of clip anyways. I felt from your interview you did not really believe what you were saying and that a 33 round clip really isn’t necessary. Don’t you think if he had a 10 round clip less deaths would have resulted? I am a gun owner (hunting-type) and not some left wing nut. Just a concerned citizen who thinks that some weapons are really not necessary. Thank you for your time. (Name redacted)Here’s my reply.
Thanks for writing. The Constitution says, and the Supreme Court recently affirmed — twice — that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental civil right. When it comes to freedoms, citizens don’t need to show necessity; the onus is on the state to show that any restriction of a civil right is “necessary.” Numerous studies attempted to find any impact that the ten-year “assault weapon” ban had on crime. They could not. The biggest problem is that “compromise” with gun-banners is always one-way. If we agreed to a ten-round magazine limit, next year’s proposal would be for five rounds. When they get rid of the scary-looking black rifles, do you think they won’t go for your scoped deer sniper rifle next? We’re in this together. We hope you’ll join us.