If MN Dems Have 'Modest' Anti-Gun Agenda, We'd Hate To See Aggressive

AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File

Minnesota isn't exactly a pro-gun bastion by any stretch of the imagination. While there has been a long and venerable history of outdoor sports like hunting and fishing, they aren't really big on the right to keep and bear arms as a whole, as recent legislation has illustrated.


None of that recent legislation prevented two police officers and a paramedic from being killed in Burnsville, even as the killer was a prohibited person who tried to get his rights restored and failed.

But a recent headline caught my eye. It seems that Democrats in Minnesota are only pursuing a "moderate" gun control agenda this year.

Democratic-Farmer-Labor lawmakers are considering a slew of new gun restrictions this session, many with the goal of reducing the number of semi-automatic rifles in Minnesota.

Democrats are looking to build upon the gun legislation signed into law last year, including universal background checks and an extreme risk protection order, or “red flag law,” which allows the authorities to take guns from someone deemed a threat to themselves or others. 

The push comes as Burnsville mourns the loss of two police officers and a paramedic to gunfire early Sunday. Last year, according to preliminary data, there were 59 incidents involving suspects shooting at police, up from just 10 in 2019.

Some progressive DFL lawmakers are aiming for laws restricting the sale and possession of semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15, but slim majorities in both chambers and skittish caucus moderates will make passage difficult — especially in an election year when all 134 House seats are on the ballot and the issue could create political headaches for swing-district Democrats. 

“It’s still disappointing to me how the public is ahead of the politicians on this one,” said Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville. Marty, a longtime gun control advocate, said he hasn’t heard whether his assault weapon bill will even receive a hearing this session, but he’s not optimistic. Many of his Democratic colleagues, he said, are “scared.” 


If that's a moderate agenda, what do they think is an aggressive one?

The AR-15 is the most popular rifle model in the country. Any sort of ban on this is likely to impact millions of lawful gun owners and potential gun buyers. This isn't remotely moderate.

Now, not being able to pass it is a different matter entirely. I hope they can't. I hope that those moderate DFL members in Minnesota recognize that gun control isn't a winning strategy in their districts, that while universal background checks and red flag laws might play well enough with some otherwise pro-gun voters, semi-auto restrictions are a different matter.

Especially since these "assault weapon ban" bills are often being pivoted to "semi-auto rifle restrictions,"  which means making the definitions of what's illegal so broad that even many hunting rifles are going to get caught up in it.

And again, the news media thinks this is a moderate agenda?


Then again, it's the media framing it this way, not DFL officials in the state. They apparently know better, which means it's this media outlet that sees the potential banning of the most popular rifle in America as "moderate."


And, frankly, they're idiots for that, if nothing else.

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