For the first time in a decade, Democrats (okay, technically the Democrat-Farmer-Labor Party) have complete control of state government in Minnesota, and they’ve unleashed an avalanche of anti-gun bills at the state capitol, including one measure that the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus says would essentially repeal the Second Amendment by enacting an array of new restrictions on gun owners in the state, including the potential for mandatory mental and physical health screenings before they’re permitted to purchase a firearm and new prohibitions on where those who possess a concealed carry license can lawfully bear arms in self-defense.
I wanted to get a first-hand report on what’s going on in the state, and I’m thrilled that Rob Doar, senior vice president of government affairs for the MN Gun Owners Caucus, was able to join me on Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co from the state capitol building today to detail the biggest threats to the Second Amendment this session.
Doar says the group is paying close attention to multiple bills, including “red flag” legislation, “universal” background checks, and storage mandates in addition to the omnibus gun control bill I mentioned above. But while the DFL may have a grip on both legislative chambers, Doar says enactment of these anti-gun measures is far from a certainty.
“We’ve got a very Metro-centric majority; basically the big cities like Minneapolis-St. Paul, Duluth, and Rochester kind of running the show,” Doar explained, but added that there are still two DFL senators representing rural areas who’ve been quiet about where they stand on many of the anti-gun bills that have been introduced. The Second Amendment advocate says he’s actually a little concerned that the omnibus bill and all of its flagrantly unconstitutional provisions are being used as a smokescreen of sorts; crafted not necessarily with an eye towards passage, but to make other gun control bills appear more “moderate” in comparison and give those rural senators the opportunity to say they rejected the most extreme language while still voting for other egregious infringements to the right to keep and bear arms.
“It’s very possible that the bill [SB 1723] was introduced just to get us focused on that one and screeching about that one so that we maybe aren’t playing as close attention to the ones that are more likely to advance,” notes Doar.
If that is the strategy, I don’t think it’s going to work to the Dems’ favor, at least not in the long term. Back in 2019, Democrats took control of Virginia state government for the first time in 30 years, and immediately set to work on more than a dozen anti-gun measures including a ban on the sale and possession of “assault weapons.” That bill died thanks to the votes of a couple of rural Democratic senators, though about a half-dozen other restrictions were signed into law, but gun owners enacted their revenge in the 2021 elections; helping to install a new GOP majority in the House of Delegates and electing Republicans to every statewide office on the ballot, including governor, lt. governor, and attorney general.
We’ll have to wait until next year to see if history will repeat itself in Minnesota, but now’s the time for gun owners to make their voices heard on the multiple infringements to a fundamental right up for debate in the statehouse. Doar says the MN Gun Owners Caucus has been running ads targeting those rural DFL senators and encouraging them to stand firm in their support for the Second Amendment, and we’ll soon see if those elected officials are going to listen to their constituents or the party leaders demanding they fall in line behind their anti-gun agenda.
I’d encourage you to check out the entire conversation with Rob Doar in the video window below, which also touches on Minnesota’s growing violent crime problem as well as the cognitive dissonance of the DFLers who complain about overpolicing and mass incarceration while working to create a whole lot of new, non-violent possessory gun offenses carved out of a constitutionally-protected right.