ST. PAUL – On Wednesday, Republican House members held a press conference to preview gun legislation being heard Wednesday evening in the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Division, and discuss the flaws in both HF 8 and HF 9.
House File 8 will create several new restrictive requirements on the transfer - not just the sale - of all firearms, including long guns, and only allows one firearm per permit to purchase, which expires after 30 days. It also raises the age to buy firearms to 21 and imposes a requirement for private parties to keep records in perpetuity. Even transfers between friends would require individuals to pay a fee to send and take back their firearm, and individuals would be guilty of a gross misdemeanor if they misplaced transfer paperwork and were unable to produce it to authorities.
"Criminals intent on committing a crime with a firearm already don’t obey the laws on the books today," said Rep. Jim Nash, R-Waconia. "What expectation do we have that they will follow a new law? This proposed new law will only impact law-abiding citizens."
This legislation would create strict new hurdles and barriers for law-abiding Minnesotans seeking to exercise their Second Amendment rights," said Rep. Jim Nash, R-Waconia. "The criminals who do not follow the laws we have today will not follow this complex new process. All this legislation will do is put more barriers around a constitutional right for law-abiding citizens."
House File 9 will permit practically anyone to file a court order that can remove firearms through an ex-parte process where the accused is not present, and cannot offer a counter to the accusation. Law Enforcement would be responsible for delivering the order and executing the firearm seizure without the accused knowing an accusation has been made against them.
"This legislation, HF9, violates the due process of citizens and potentially will do nothing to stop those who are intent on doing harm to themselves or others," said Rep. Marion O'Neill, R-Maple Lake. "If there is evidence someone is truly a danger to themselves or others, they need to be removed from the situation through a 72-hour psychiatric mental health hold, not just have their firearms confiscated."
"I am concerned by the dangerous position executing this order will put law enforcement officers in," added Rep. Brian Johnson, R-Cambridge, GOP Lead on the Public Safety Division and retired law enforcement officer. "With this proposal, the first time the subjects of these orders are made aware of the order against them will be when law enforcement officers come to collect the weapons. This is not good policy and a recipe for putting law enforcement officers in danger."