for MN House 35A | Anoka & Ramsey

Parkland & Firearms Safety

As a gun owner, DNR safety instructor, and shotgun shooting sports instructor, I am torn on the issues. Here is my take and plan on how to handle the gun issue:

1. Responsible gun owners see no problem with background checks. Fanatics and the NRA leadership are the only ones that take issue. (It limits gun sales on the spot which may reduce guns sales overall, but this may not be so bad.)

2. License to carry a gun in Minnesota. We currently require a permit that requires a carry permit class with no standards. Safety training courses need to be standardized and certified, listed on your license, and should be repeated every four years. Currently, in order to get a permit, you get a background check. No one complained.

Make it mandatory: if you own a gun you must maintain this license. This is a no-brainer to me. If you cannot maintain your license are you responsible enough to maintain your guns and keep them safe?

3. If you no longer can handle your guns safely, I don't advocate for them being taken away. They should be stored for your safety until you can sell them or a family member inherits them. The gift transfer of ownership requires the same licensing, training, and a background check as any other transfer of ownership.

4. Mental illness is at the core of many mass shootings. Remove the barriers to getting good mental health services. This can be accomplished though destigmatizing mental illness and mandating that all insurances cover mental health issue with no copay and no reporting to insurance. The insurance companies on a monthly basis would receive a bill for all mental health care expenses for all their clients with no indicators as to who the patient is. These records would be audited by the State auditors office for accuracy and to maintain client privacy.

5. Put money into the enforcement of all our current gun laws

6. Reinstate the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons ban at the state level.

7. In the words of my oldest son: “What do you need a 33-round magazine on a semi-automatic AR-15 for hunting a deer? Are you looking to make swiss cheese?"

8. My words: “If you cannot hit it in the first shot, go back home, go to a gun range, and practice.” I can think of no excuse for a 33-round magazine except for mass shooting. The argument that it can be used in competition is also false. I had a conversation with a person who walked himself in the corner when he said, "It only takes a second longer if you know how to unload and reload magazines in your gun. So shooting events don't require them either.

Last but not least: give me your feedback I want to hear from people on both sides. Real talking points, not propaganda, please.