Minnesota Democrats have already passed “red flag” legislation and a new “universal” background check scheme as part of an omnibus public safety package, but anti-gun lawmakers have more on their agenda… including a ban on the sale and transfer of so-called “assault weapons” that’s so broadly written that the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus says it threatens to criminalize most semi-autos, even handguns.
SF 3352 was introduced last week and so far hasn’t been assigned to a committee or attracted any co-sponsors, but that could soon change as Sen. Jen McEwen goes stumping for support. She’s already engaging on social media hoping to attract attention to her legislation, and over the weekend got into a bit of a discussion with the 2A group over the legislative language that would prohibit current possessors of modern sporting rifles from transferring them to anyone but the government as part of a “buyback.” In fact, she seemed torqued that the MN Gun Owners Caucus wasn’t bending over backwards to help her build a better trap to ensnare gun owners.
If you want to have an honest discussion around reducing violence and suicide involving firearms that doesn’t involve infringing on the Second Amendment rights of peaceable Minnesotans, we are always up for that discussion.
But we aren’t going to be helping you craft a bill that… https://t.co/EFn4SPMJNS
— MN Gun Owners Caucus (@mnguncaucus) May 21, 2023
Why should the Caucus work with McEwen on finding a compromise or middle ground when she’s seeking to infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners by criminalizing the sale and transfer of the most commonly-sold rifles in the country, unless they’re “bought back” by the government in a compensate confiscation scheme?
I mean, I get it, sometimes I get caught up in semantics and etymology too.
So… if we stop saying “buy-back” and we call it “cash for your deadliest-by-design guns” does that solve your bad feelings problem? Does it help you? https://t.co/fzeg7apQ1m
— Jen McEwen (@JenMcEwenMN) May 21, 2023
“Deadliest by design” is a new phrase, but as the Gun Caucus’s Rob Doar pointed out, it’s absurdly off-base in terms of a firearms function as well as the type of firearm most used in crimes in the state.
Every year in MN, there are 1-3 rifle homicides.
This includes ALL Rifles. (Target, hunting, "sniper", "assault" ALL OF THEM)
I researched last year and found in only ONE of these homicides, in the previous 4 years was an "assault weapon"… and… it was a .22lr. https://t.co/VFOXD4FJcW pic.twitter.com/RMDPW3Kc02
— Rob Doar (@robdoar) May 21, 2023
So not only is this a fundamental violation of a basic civil right, but even if McEwen does manage to get her gun ban bill signed into law, it will have no effect whatsoever on violent criminals in the state, who by and large are using handguns in the commission of their crimes.
A handgun ban is off the table, at least as long as Democrats are unable to pack the Supreme Court full of anti-gun justices who’ll overturn Heller, McDonald, and Bruen at the first opportunity, so McEwen is left to satisfy her prohibitionist desires by going after modern sporting rifles instead even though they’re hardly ever used in crimes in the state.
Perhaps in an effort to educate and enlighten McEwen about her misguided and authoritarian impulses, the MN Gun Owners Caucus said on Sunday that it had agreed to meet with the lawmaker to discuss her bill.
Senator McEwen has requested a meeting, and we've agreed to meet.
No, we aren't compromising. pic.twitter.com/zgbjr92Dbd
— MN Gun Owners Caucus (@mnguncaucus) May 22, 2023
If McEwen is hoping to bring the MN Gun Owners Caucus on board, I think she’s in for a pretty brief conversation. There’s no way around the fact that what McEwen wants is in direct contradiction to our right to keep and bear arms, and there’s no way to build a gun ban bill that’s going to get the support of any real Second Amendment group like the Caucus.
My guess is she asked for the sit-down so she can later say she was “willing to listen to both sides”, but anything that Doar or other Caucus members might share with her is going to go in one ear and out the other. She’s intent on banning modern sporting rifles, 2A activists are intent on protecting the right to own them, and there’s not really any middle ground between those two positions. Telling existing owners that they can keep them while banning future sales isn’t a compromise. It’s an intermediate step that can always be undone after an initial ban has been imposed, as we’ve seen with bans on “large capacity” magazines in states like California and New Jersey. I’m curious to hear from the MN Gun Owners Caucus after their meeting with McEwen, but I doubt the lawmakers is open-minded enough to take their advice and input to heart.