For those who are supporters of the Second Amendment, District 16B State Rep. Paul Torkelson of Hanska said a pair of gun bills being prioritized by House Democrats at the state capitol are likely going to be disappointing.
“Both of these bills are unnecessary, as they dive into issues that aren’t going to help responsible gun owners at all,” Torkelson said. “It’s just going to place an extra burden on law-abiding residents and threaten their possession of legal firearms.”
The first bill deals with background checks. While the proponents claim this is about background checks for gun purchases, Torkelson said this bill creates new burdens for what used to be very routine transfers between friends for hunting and shooting trap, and it could inadvertently turn people into criminals if they don’t follow the exact processes that is laid out in this bill.
In addition, permits to purchase would be limited to one firearm every 30 days, effectively creating a state level gun registry. According to a 2016 US Department of Justice study, less than one percent of criminals obtain their guns at gun shows. The vast majority of criminally acquired guns are obtained from illegal sources.
The second proposal would allow guns to be seized based on claims from a reporting party. Torkelson said this bill effectively treats people as guilty until proven innocent, which goes against the principles of the legal system, violates due process and will not stop those who are intent on doing harm to others.
“Most gun crimes are committed by criminals who are already illegally using guns based on our current set of laws,” Torkelson said. “We already have a lot of gun laws in Minnesota, and adding more laws will not make criminals law abiding. We should be working on enforcing the laws we already have on the books.”