Minnesota House passes gun control

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

The state of Minnesota is tenuously in control of anti-gun lawmakers after last November’s elections. Since I don’t live there, I’m not losing a lot of sleep over it, but I’m not crazy about what they’re doing because a lot of gun people are still in the state.

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It seems that the House there is about to make their lives a lot more difficult, too.

The Minnesota House of Representatives advanced a public safety bill that includes two gun control proposals that will introduce universal background checks and a “red-flag” provision.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Kelly Moller (DFL-Shoreview), passed the DFL-led House by a 69-60 vote on party lines late Wednesday afternoon after almost 11 hours of debates.

The red flag law would allow family members and others to petition a court to have guns removed from someone they consider dangerous to themselves or others. In addition, members of law enforcement and prosecutors could also seek removal orders.

Universal background checks involve more paperwork being filled out for private gun sales involving “pistols or semiautomatic military-style assault weapons.” Those involved in a sale would be required to present a valid government ID or a transfer permit issued by police.

DFL lawmakers have argued to keep guns out of the wrong person’s hands while Republicans believe it’s unfair to law-abiding gun owners, potentially threatening Second Amendment rights.

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The Republicans are right, but that’s also incredibly simplistic.

The issue here is that red flag laws allow people to make complaints and take people’s guns away, generally without any due process, while still leaving these supposedly dangerous people just walking around. There’s no effort to get these people any mental help or anything.

As a result, it’s only a matter of time before someone hit with a red flag order ends up killing people in some other way, if it hasn’t happened already and just wasn’t reported.

Universal background checks, on the other hand, are interesting.

What’s interesting about them is that they completely ignore the reality of where criminals get guns and pretend that they’re being sold by law-abiding citizens who are just unfamiliar with their customer’s criminal backgrounds.

I won’t say that never happens, mind you. I’m sure it has.

But that’s not where studies show criminals actually get their guns. They either steal them–no background check is going to take place there–or they get them on the black market. Again, no background checks.

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All universal background checks do is increase the difficulty of transferring a firearm from one law-abiding citizen to another.

Plus, it’s also pretty unenforceable.

Now, don’t get me wrong, all of this will also infringe on people’s Second Amendment rights, but there’s more than that.

These bills will now go to the state Senate, where I don’t think we’ll see much slowing down, then on to the governor for his signature.

But none of this will make Minnesota safer. Criminals will still get guns. Good people will have more problems buying and selling guns.

That’s all that’s going to happen here.

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