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2013 Firearm Bills

Here are the bills that are on our radar for the 2013 Legislature. This list will be updated as action is taken.
Each bill is marked as GOOD , BAD or NEUTRAL

This is the nastiest bill we face. It creates a de facto registration system. Not all registrations lead to confiscation, but all confiscation starts with registration.

HF 237 (Paymar) / SF 458 (Champion) Universal registration (camouflaged as “background checks”)
VERY, VERY BAD

GOCRA’s view: We strongly oppose this bill, which effectively forces all guns be to be registered at the time they are transferred, removing the rights of citizens to conduct private transactions.

Status: Scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, February 21 starting at noon.

Risk: VERY HIGH

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HF 240 – (Schoen) / SF 557 (Cohen) “Prove you’re sane”
VERY BAD

GOCRA’s view: This bill would allow law enforcement to request a letter from a doctor or mental health professional to process a purchase or carry permit application. The bill then allows the law enforcement official to ignore the medical judgment and deny the permit anyway.

Status: Scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday, February 22 at noon.

Risk to your rights: Moderate

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HF 184 (Winkler) / SF 520 (Latz) – Voluntary surrender of firearms, and firearms rights.

NEUTRAL

GOCRA’s view: While we are skeptical of this unfunded mandate and have concerns about the implementation of the bill, as long as people act only under their own free will, we do not oppose the bill.

Status: Scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday, February 22 starting at noon.
Risk to your rights: Low

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SF 69 (Ingebrigtsen) / HF 178 (Cornish) Retired police, with current training, do not need a permit to carry.
NEUTRAL

GOCRA’s view:
This is a slightly simpler process for carrying than the existing federal law, known HR218 or the “Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA)”. This bill’s only practical effect is to relieve retired police officers of the excessive $100 permit fee charged by most sheriffs. We would prefer that the permit fee were fixed at $35 for all applicants, whether retired cops, retired plumbers, single mothers, or millionaires.

Status:
Scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, February 21 starting at noon.

Risk to your rights:
Very low

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HF 238 (Davnie) Criminalize PTC Holders on school property
BAD

GOCRA’s view:
This bill would turn Permit to Carry holders into felons for mistakenly carrying onto school property, day care centers, or school functions, and allows for firearms confiscation. This is a solution in search of a problem; permit holders don’t carry maliciously onto school property.

Status:
Heard in the House Public Safety committee in early February; there is no Senate companion bill.

Risk to your rights:
Low

.

HF 239 (Davnie) Criminalize PTC holders in private establishments
BAD

GOCRA’s view: Another solution in search of a problem. This bill would make it a gross misdemeanor or felony to carry into a posted establishment, and allow for confiscation of firearms.

Status: Heard in House committee in early February; no Senate companion bill

Risk to your rights:
Low

.

HF 241 – (Hausman) “Assault Weapons” ban
VERY BAD

GOCRA’s view: This bill would continue the failed strategy of banning certain rifles based on cosmetic features. Rifles of this kind, though very popular, are used in less than half of a percent of all murders nationally. Such a law would be unconstitutional under the Heller decision, as these rifles are certainly in “common use.” Because of the unethical irregularities in the presentation of this bill, GOCRA is calling upon Rep. Hausman to withdraw the bill from consideration. See below.

Notes: Representative Hausman abandoned the committee, leaving a registered lobbyist paid by out-of-state funds to present the bill. At one point, Chairman Paymar began to refer to the paid lobbyist as “representative.”

Status:
Heard in House committee in early February; no Senate companion bill; Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Ron Latz has indicated that he will not be taking up such a bill this session.


Risk to your rights: Low

.

HF 242 – (Hausman) Ten round magazine limit
VERY BAD

GOCRA’s view: While not reducing crime, this bill would deprive Minnesotans of their legally purchased and owned property. It would ban exactly the same defensive tools that police officers use. As with the “assault weapon” ban, these items are in common use and are thus constitutionally protected under Heller. Because of the unethical irregularities in the presentation of this bill, GOCRA is calling upon Rep. Hausman to withdraw the bill from consideration. See below.

Notes: Representative Hausman abandoned the committee, leaving a registered lobbyist paid by out-of-state funds to present the bill. At one point, Chairman Paymar began to refer to the paid lobbyist as “representative.”

Status:
Heard in House committee in early February; no Senate companion bill; Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Ron Latz has indicated that he will not be taking up such a bill this session.

Risk to your rights:
Low

.

HF 243 (Hausman) Seven round magazine limit
BAD

GOCRA’s view: The same as above, only worse.

Status: This bill has not yet had a hearing in the House Public Safety committee, and may never be seen. There is no Senate companion bill.

Risk to your rights:
low

.

HF 244 (Johnson, S.) / SF 503 (Latz) Straw purchase penalties
BAD

GOCRA’s view: While we support increased penalties for gun crimes, this bill would create a new, weak, subjective standard for convicting an innocent seller. It also creates weaker penalties than existing law. With proper modification, GOCRA may drop opposition to, or even support, this bill.

Status: Scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday, February 22 starting at noon.

Risk to your rights:
Low

.

HF 263 (Paymar) Fifth degree assault and domestic assault provisions added to crime of violence.
BAD, but possibly fixable

Makes possession of a pistol by a a juvenile a lifetime prohibition on possessing firearms; makes possession of ammunition by a prohibited person a felony; adds two domestic abuse crimes to lifetime firearms ban.

GOCRA’s view: We believe that while this bill has a few issues, it can be amended into one that gun owners could support.

Risk: Low

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HF 285 (Lesch) / SF 235 (Latz) Fifth degree assault and domestic assault provisions added to crime of violence, ban on felon in possession of ammunition, aiding and abetting.

BAD , but possible fixable

GOCRA’s view: While the purpose of the bill is sound, it contains some overly broad provisions and and troubling language. We believe that we could work with the author to mold this into a bill that gun owners could support.

Status: Scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, February 21 starting at noon.

Risk to your rights:
Moderate

.

HF 294 (Rosenthal) / SF 568 (Cohen) Guts the civil rights protections of the Minnesota Citizens Personal Protection Act
BAD

  • Lowers a sheriff’s standard of proof in a permit denial case to “preponderance of evidence.”
  • Removes the requirement that sheriffs pay legal costs for bogus denials.
  • Allows the court to consider un-investigated allegations when denying a permit.
  • Makes it harder to get civil rights restored.

GOCRA’s view: This bill must not pass.

Status: Scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday, February 22 at noon.

Risk to your rights:
High

.

SF413 (Goodwin) / HF 561 (Laine) Making it harder for a prohibited person to get civil rights restored. Changes the standard from “good cause” to “clear and convincing evidence.”GOCRA’s view: Pending

Status:
Scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday, February 22 at noon.

Risk to your rights:
Moderate

.

HF 298 (Dehn, R.) Guts state preemption of local firearm regulation
VERY BAD

GOCRA’s view: This bill would let each city pass its own separate gun laws, creating an impossible patchwork of rules impossible to obey.

Status: This bill has not yet been heard by the House Public Safety committee, and may never be. It has no Senate companion bill.

Risk to your rights:
Low

.

HF 307 (Simonson) Move carry permit issuance from 87 sheriffs to 500+ police chiefs and sheriffs
VERY BAD

GOCRA’s view: This bill would bring back the bad old days of unelected police chiefs violating citizens’ rights.

Status: This bill was heard in the House Public Safety committee in early February. There is no Senate companion bill.

Risk to your rights:
Low

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HF 308 (Simonson) May-issue permit system for bullet resistant vests
VERY BAD

GOCRA’s view: This bill treats the purely defensive ballistic vest as an offensive weapon, and would require a $100 fee just to apply to own one.

Status: This bill was heard and ripped to shreds in the House Public Safety committee in early February. There is no Senate companion bill.

Risk to your rights:
Low

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HF 419 (Draazkowski) / SF 400 (Brown) Firearm Protection Act
GOOD

Bars enforcement of any new federal firearm executive order, regulation or law that relates to a previously legal firearm possessed and remaining in Minnesota.
GOCRA’s view: The Tenth Amendment forbids the federal government from exceeding its Constitutional authority. This bill declares the state’s intention to hold the federal government withing those limits.

Status: Scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday, February 22, starting at noon.

Opportunity for your rights:
Low to moderate

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SF 205 (Champion) – Omnibus Gun Rights Deprivation
VERY BAD

  • Adds a $25 fee for a pistol/sporting rifle purchase permit
  • Extends the purchase permit processing time from 7 to 30 days
  • Allows a police chief to demand fingerprints before issuing a purchase permit
  • Disallows the use of a carry permit as a purchase permit after the first year
  • Requires ALL private firearm transfers to go through a licensed firearms dealer (with another $25 fee)
  • Deprives a citizen of her firearm rights if confined or hospitalized for a mental health or drug issue (on the mere word of a police officer, without a day in court)
  • Forbids the loaning of a firearm without a background check and fees

GOCRA’s view: A gun banner’s wish list, this bill incorporates a number of ideas from various bad House bills.

Status: Not yet scheduled to be heard in the Senate. This bill may be a road map for the upcoming House omnibus bill.

Risk to your rights:
Moderate

.

SF 64 (Goodwin) / HF 486 (Laine) – Removes the right of certain felons to petition the court to have their ability to possess a firearm restored, instead making them apply to the state pardons board.
BAD

GOCRA’s view: This would move rights restoration from judges to politicians, making it very unlikely anyone would ever have their civil rights restored.

Status: This bill has been withdrawn by the Senate author. It has not yet received a hearing in the House.

Risk to your rights:
Low

.

SF 46 (Goodwin) – Completely eliminates the right of certain felons to ever petition the court to have their ability to possess a firearm restored.
VERY BAD

GOCRA’s view: Even worse than SF 64, this bill would make it impossible to ever regain the right to keep and bear arms.

Status: This bill has been withdrawn by the Senate author. There is no companion House bill.

Risk to your rights:
Low

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