Dems’ 2023 War On Guns Continues; Battles in Minnesota, Pennsylvania
U.S.A. – After pushing through gun control measures in Michigan and Washington, Democrats—dropping any pretense of being anything other than the “party of gun control”—are busy in Minnesota, where, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, they moved a bill on a “party line vote” to expand background checks and a red flag law.
The newspaper notes in its coverage that “Democratic backers of these changes say they will help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people. They say the new restrictions are ‘common sense’ measures that have broad support among voters and have been implemented in both liberal and conservative states.”
Where have we heard that before, gun rights activists could easily ask. Answer: Everywhere.
The Associated Press is reporting on the situation, explaining, “The two gun measures are part of a wide-ranging public safety bill that lawmakers debated late into the night Tuesday before breaking around midnight.”
Democrat Gov. Tim Walz gets a mention for mouthing one of the gun prohibition lobby’s favorite arguments: “Every other industrialized nation in the world can find a way to keep their freedoms and not kill their children and their citizens. We can have both.”
The Pioneer Press noted how Walz joined a rally organized by the anti-gun-rights Moms Demand Action Tuesday in front of the Capitol, where he declared, “Political capital is not something you bank away. Political capital is what you burn to improve lives.”
Hiding between the lines are how Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party members plan to do this by whittling away at the rights of Minnesota gun owners.
As detailed by the Pioneer Press—which clearly identifies the proposals as “new restrictions”—the plan calls for “expanded background checks,” whatever they are. According to the newspaper, this is what DFL anti-gunners think they are: Require a permit to purchase or a concealed carry permit for a private firearms transfer.
“The bill allows firearms owners to transfer weapons to another person through a federally licensed dealer,” the story explains. “Anyone who transfers ownership of a firearm would need to keep a record of the sale and produce those records if asked by law enforcement.”
The proposed “red flag” law (aka “extreme risk protection order” or ERPO) allows family members or police to ask the court to take someone’s firearms and prohibit them from buying replacements until the court order expires, the newspaper explained. Opponents are concerned about due process.
Quoted by the Pioneer Press, state Rep. Paul Novotny of Elk River, the ranking Republican on the House Public Safety Committee said, “There are ways to keep neighborhoods safe and make sure firearms do not fall into the hands of criminals without violating civil rights. This bill dramatically misses the mark on both accounts and will make Minnesota less safe.”
Opponents have tried repeatedly to explain how criminals do not follow gun control laws, which only seem to penalize law-abiding citizens. DFL gun control proponents refuse to understand.
Meanwhile, on another battlefront—this one in Harrisburg, Pa.—the Associated Press is reporting that (once again), “Democrats advanced four gun-control bills in Pennsylvania’s state House of Representatives on Wednesday, after years of a virtual standstill on legislation amid a politically divided government.”
The report quickly adds, “The bills passed through committee on party lines.”
What are the gun control measures under consideration in the Keystone State? Lost or stolen guns must be reported to the police within three days. “Long barreled” firearms must be sold with trigger locks. Background checks would be “expanded” to include private sales of “sporting rifles and semi-automatic rifles,” and shotguns. A fourth provision is the “red flag” proposal.
The AP story quotes Democrat Rep. Tim Briggs, dredging up the familiar argument: “We have a responsibility to protect our children, our neighbors, our schools, our houses of worship, our business, people in crisis and our law enforcement communities from the dangers of gun crimes of violence.”
He was candid enough to acknowledge, “Today is a first step. I assure you it will not be the last.”
Only Republican Rep. Rob Kauffman appears to have countered Briggs’ contention: “If folks are using guns illegally, they’re doubtfully going to be going through the law-abiding process to acquire that gun… I appreciate the intent but it seems to be a lot of symbolism over actual substance.”
However, with Republicans controlling the state Senate, as noted by the Associated Press, this may amount to little more than theatrics when the dust settles.
All of this is happening against the backdrop of Washington State, where the battlefield is shifting to the federal courts, as earlier reported by AmmoLand News. The ban on so-called “assault weapons” signed into law Tuesday by Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee immediately drew two federal lawsuits, with an interesting twist.
As Inslee was in the process of signing the legislation when the Second Amendment Foundation filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle. SAF is joined by the Firearms Policy Coalition, Sporting Systems, a Hazel Dell retailer, and three private citizens, Brett Bass, Douglas Mitchell and Lawrence Hartford. They are represented by Seattle attorney Joel Ard.
About 300 miles to the east, the National Rifle Association was filing a second federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, in Spokane, as first reported by Fox News. NRA is not identified as a plaintiff in this action, while the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Sharp Shooting Indoor Range & Gun Shop in Spokane, The Range LLC in Yakima, Aero Precision—a firearms manufacturer—based in Tacoma, and Amanda Banta, a private citizen and former Olympics competitor on Team USA are the plaintiffs. They are represented by attorneys Steven Fogg at Corr Cronin in Seattle, Paul Clement, Erin Murphy and Matthew Rowen, at Clement & Murphy in Alexandria, Va.
Whatever else winter and spring of 2023 has offered, it has clearly shown how the battle lines are drawn, with one party determined to advance restrictive gun control and the other party standing in resistance.
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About Dave Workman
Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.