Minnesota GOP deals blow to new gun control proposals

May 16, 2019


Matthew Hoy

Minnesota Democrats (known in that state as DFL for Democrat-Farm-Labor) have made it a priority to pass additional gun control laws, only to be stymied by Republicans who still control the state Senate.

The proposed gun control laws would institute universal background checks for private transfers of firearms and institute so-called "red-flag" laws which turn due process protections on their head.

A parliamentary maneuver by state Sen. Warren Limmer has put the two bills on life support and unlikely to become law during the current legislative session.

Two gun-control measures deemed a top priority by Minnesota DFL lawmakers this session were dealt an all-but-fatal blow Tuesday after they failed to advance on a party-line vote.

Coming after three hours of debate, the result appeared to stymie efforts by gun-control advocates to expand criminal-background checks to private gun sales and create a “red flag” law that would allow authorities to temporarily confiscate firearms from people considered a threat to themselves or others.

The gun proposals, similar to federal proposals that have divided Congress, came to a head when Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, called for a vote on whether to add them to a broader spending bill being assembled by members from both the House and Senate.

The gambit paid off for Limmer, who earlier expressed deep reservations about both policy proposals: Members of the joint conference committee on the public safety budget split 5-5 along party lines and failed to add either measure to the spending bill.

These sorts of legislative victories are always temporary.

Gun-safety activists predicted that the two measures will almost certainly be revived in 2020 when lawmakers return to craft policy before Senate elections. Limmer dismissed the electoral threat.

As those of us in restricted states like California know, gun control advocates don't know when to stop. There is no legislation outside of a repeal of the 2nd Amendment and an Australian-style firearms ban that will satisfy their desire for more restrictive laws.

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