Contact these legislators: eliminate wasteful duplicate background checks

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
651-296-4240 Representative  Kelby Woodard – Vice Chair 651-296-7065 Representative Glenn Gruenhagen 651-296-4229 Representative Tim Kelly 651-296-8635 Representative Andrea Kieffer 651-296-1147 Representative John Kriesel 651-296-4342 Representative Ernie Leidiger 651-296-4282 Representative Joe McDonald 651-296-4336 Representative Bud Nornes 651-296-4946 Representative Steve Smith 651-296-9188 2. Contact members of the Civil Law committee to express your support for the bill. They are: Torrey Westrom – Committee Chair 651-296-4929 Representative Steve DrazkowskiVice Chair (* Drazkowski is the bill’s author. He clearly supports it, but cheer him on anyway!) 651-296-2273 Representative John Lesch – DFL Lead 651-296-4224 Representative Glenn Gruenhagen 651-296-4229 Representative Debra Hilstrom 651-296-3709 Representative Bill Hilty 651-296-4308 Representative Mary Liz Holberg 651-296-6926 Representative Joe Hoppe 651-296-5066 Representative Melissa Hortman 651-296-4280 Representative Tim Mahoney 651-296-4277 Representative Pat Mazorol 651-296-7803 Representative Joyce Peppin 651-296-7806 Representative Sandra Peterson 651-296-4176 Representative Linda Runbeck 651-296-2907 Representative Peggy Scott 651-296-4231 Representative Steve Simon 651-296-9889 Representative Doug Wardlow 651-296-4128
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, follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook.
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