What’s happened, where we are now, and what’s next



Gun control 2013: What’s happened, where we are now, and what’s next

There’s a lot going on, so we thought we’d send one summary email this week and catch everyone up.



  • Win a 1911

  • David Gross speaking in Rochester Thursday 

  • At the legislature:

    • Legislation Vacation

    • What’s happened so far

    • What’s next

    • What you can do

  • Membership premiums update

Win this Remington 1911 R1


Win a 1911

Did we mention that we’re giving away a Remington 1911 to one of our email recipients? If the bottom of this email shows your representatives, you’re already entered. If not, click the link to update your info!



David Gross speaking in Rochester Thursday

GOCRA co-founder and treasurer David Gross, an attorney with decades of experience in the fight for your gun rights in Minnesota, will be addressing the Rochester Tea Party Patriots tomorrow night at 7. All the details are at their web site. David is a one-of-a-kind speaker — don’t miss this opportunity! (We’ll also have memberships and GOCRA t-shirts available at the event.)




Legislation vacation

The legislature is off this week for spring break. That’s a break for all of us, because they can’t do any damage when they’re not at the Capitol.


What’s happened so far

Last week in the Minnesota House, anti-gun-rights extremist Rep. Michael Paymar gave up on his Punish Gun Owners Act, HF237. Paymar, who chairs the Public Safety committee, acknowledged that he didn’t even have the votes to get his gun control agenda out of his own committee.


Rep. Paymar did manage to get a “compromise” bill passed out of committee — a bill hidden from the public until less than an hour before the hearing last Thursday. While GOCRA supports most of the provisions of HF285 (they were already in the GOCRA- and NRA-supported “Good bill” that Rep. Paymar refused to hear in committee), it does include one controversial provision:


HF285 requires the purchaser in a private sale of a pistol or sporting rifle, if the transaction takes place at a gun show, to have a permit to purchase or carry, and show that permit to the private seller. While this is what most of us do anyway, it is still a step, though a small one, toward increased regulation of private sales.


What’s next

Representative Paymar has vowed to reintroduce Universal Registration as an amendment on the House floor. We need to make sure that Minnesota lawmakers know that we will not tolerate a vote for such an amendment. There is also the possibility that some of the “Good Bill” criminal control provisions that GOCRA supports will be amended on to his bill.


There is also a lot of room for things to change as the House and the Senate work to match up their bill, either by amendment, or in conference committees. We’ll be watching that closely.


We don’t know yet when Rep. Paymar’s bill will be heard in the full House. We’ll let you know as soon as we know.


What you can do

Starting Tuesday, it will be time to once again remind legislators that we’re watching, and that we won’t stand for any infringements. We’ll let you know when and how.


Membership premiums update

We’ve been swamped with all of the new memberships! THANK YOU! We are working as hard as we can to get the pins and patches out the door. We ran out of each; the pins are back in stock, and patches are on the way, so it won’t be long now.




Battles Won, War not Over

The short version: gun control has taken a beating, but it isn’t dead yet. Keep calling and emailing, and come to the Capitol tonight for a Public Safety committee hearing. More below:

Battles won; war not over

Thanks to your spectacular efforts, Rep. Michael Paymar’s Punish Gun Owners Act, HF237, died in the House Public Safety committee on Tuesday. And if that weren’t enough reason to celebrate, Sen. Ron Latz pulled his equally bad SF458 from the Senate rules committee,


The fight isn’t over

Tonight (Thursday night), the House Public Safety committee will hear Rep. Lesch’s HF285.  To discourage you from coming to show your opposition, Rep. Paymar has not yet set a time for the evening hearing.


We will let you know as soon as the hearing is scheduled. Typically, evening hearings start at 6 or 7, unless the committee chair elects to keep us waiting for over an hour — again.


Universal registration still a threat

Rep. Paymar has been flooding the media with conflicting information on the universal registration plans.  Rep. Paymar apparently couldn’t go even 24 hours before breaking the agreement he reportedly struck with Rep. Debra Hilstrom to get a gun bill — any gun bill — out of committee.


Rep. Hilstrom has assured us that she has taken measures necessary to prevent any universal registration from making it’s way into a bill this session, but Rep. Paymar’s doublespeak gives us cause for concern.


Victory goes to those who show up!

The House DFL strategy seems to be to try to wear us out with endless, meaningless hearings — canceling bills at the last minute, delaying votes for hours, and other last-minute scheduling changes.


They underestimate our commitment, don’t they?


Please show up Thursday night wearing your maroon shirt (or better yet, a GOCRA shirt) and stand strong against universal registration and any other infringements on law-abiding citizens.


House Public Safety Committtee Meeting (members)

Thursday, March 21

State Office Building, Room 10 (directions)

??? o’clock p.m. (schedule)



Contact these House Public Safety committee members TODAY, and let them know that attacking the rights of law-abiding gun owners is a non-starter:



 Sending the email is easy! Clicking on the email links below will give you a complete email, ready to edit or send. 

Representative John Ward (DFL)


Thank Rep. Ward for his past support of your gun rights and encourage him to resist pressure from metro gun banners.

Representative Shannon Savick (DFL)



Rep. Savick is a rural DFLer who needs to be reminded that her constituents will not tolerate new gun control.

Representative Steve Simon (DFL)


Rep. Simon is a smart, principled lawyer. Remind him that the Supreme Court has affirmed the right to keep and bear arms as an individual right, and that stripping due process doesn’t make us more free or more safe.

Then, call and email your OWN senator and representative and give them the same message.

See you tomorrow at the SOB!


House gun control bill dead (for now); Senate bill hearing Wednesday

House gun control bill dead (mostly); Senate gun control hearing Wednesday

Rep. Paymar’s gun control bill HF237 defeated

Last night, Rep. Michael Paymar publicly admitted that his Punish Gun Owners Act, HF237, didn’t even have the votes to get out of his own committee, and was dead for the session.


Rep. Paymar, though he delayed last night’s public meeting for well over an hour to do so, was unable to bully Rep. Debra Hilstrom, a crucial DFL vote, into to supporting his rights-grabbing bill. Rather than allow his pet gun control bill to go down in flames in his own committee, Rep. Paymar “laid over” the bill — tabling it for the session.


Rep. Hilstrom, a DFLer from Brooklyn Center and a prosecuting attorney, is the chief author of HF1325, the Criminal Control bill, which has 78 co-authors in the House. Paymar’s Constitution-trampling bill had only 8.


The next battle

In a face-saving measure, Rep. Paymar told reporters that he had reached a “compromise” with Rep. Hilstrom, giving up 95% of his anti-gun agenda in exchange for some sort of “gun show loophole” legislation. Rep. Hilstrom assured GOCRA last night that the language, yet to be seen, will not include any government registration of firearms.  A likely draft would include what responsible gun owners do anyway: require a stranger at a gun show to show a permit to purchase or permit to carry before allowing him to purchase a handguns or sporting rifle. No third party, government paperwork or registration would be involved.


Gun controllers have vowed to strengthen such a bill on the House floor; GOCRA and other gun rights advocates have vowed to kill any gun control this session.


Keep up the pressure

Keep up the pressure: it’s making a difference! After admitting that the Public Safety Committee wasted members’ and citizens’ time last night (and, to his credit, apologizing for it), Vice Chair Paul Rosenthal said he found the onslaught of phone calls and emails “annoying.”


If you want to explain to Rep. Rosenthal that citizen input cxomes with the job, his phone number is 651-296-7803, and his email address is



Senate gun control bill headed for Rules Committee today

Sen. Ron Latz’s companion to the Paymar bill, SF458, heads for Senate Rules Committee at around noon, where it faces an uncertain future. The committee, unlike Sen. Latz’s Judiciary Committee, is not stacked with gun controllers. Your voice can convince them to put the final nail in this bill’s coffin.


What can you do?

Today, please call and email these three members of the Senate Rules Committee and urge them to vote NO on SF458. All three have good to very good gun rights voting record. Encourage them to keep their high GOCRA grades by voting no — we are scoring this vote.


 Remember, these DFLers are presumed friendly: BE POLITE AND POSITIVE! 


Sen. Tom Bakk (DFL) – Committee Chair and Senate Majority Leader



Sen. Bakk has the power to promote or scuttle any legislation he wishes. Tell him that we will not tolerate ANY new gun control, and that we have long memories.




Sen. Rod Skoe (DFL)



Sen. Skoe is a strong supporter of gun rights. Tell his to stay that course. His constituents in northern Minnesota expect nothing less.




Sen. LeRoy Stumpf (DFL) 



Like Sen. Skoe, Sen. Stumpf represents a district in northern Minnesota, where we don’t tolerate restrictions of our gun rights. Remind him, politely, that there is no acceptable amount of infringement.






What’s next?

By the end of the day Friday, any bill that hasn’t cleared either a House or Senate committee is dead for the year. Expect parliamentary maneuvers to resurrect provisions of Rep. Paymar’s failed bill.

We’ll keep you updated as much as possible in the coming days as we see what last-ditch strategy the gun control minority in the legislature will use to advance their agenda of harassing law-abiding gun owners while ignoring actual criminals.