MN House Passes Gun Provisions in Omnibus Public Safety Bill
In the early morning hours Tuesday, the DFL-controlled House passed a broad package on public safety spending. Included in the bill are a pair of high-profile gun measures. One would expand background checks. Another would establish “red flag” protection orders.
The House version of the public safety budget bill passed 70-64, with not much Republican support because of the gun provisions added to it. Republican leaders have said any gun legislation should be voted on in standalone bills.
The omnibus public safety bill would fund everything from prison security upgrades to funding for the courts.
The Republican-led Senate passed its version the previous week without the gun provisions included.
“I have heard from many of my constituents that they want stronger gun laws,” said Rep. Mike Freiberg, DFL-Golden Valley. “All of the polls that have been done of Minnesotans show that 90 percent of Minnesotans support common sense regulations to limit gun violence. I think these fall into that category.”
“A Great Danger to Police”
One of the gun provisions would require a buyer background check for transfer of certain guns. That includes transactions among private parties. The other would establish so-called “red flag” protections. Those would allow law enforcement and city or county attorneys to petition the courts to remove firearms from people who demonstrate a threat to themselves or others.
Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, feels the second provision could put police officers in more danger.
“Police officers would come to the house after the subject has had one or two days notice,” said Limmer. “Honestly that’s a great danger to police officers. That person is either going to give up their gun, hide their guns, or they are going to load their guns and wait for the police. I have talked to a lot of line officers that say this is not a good bill because it puts them in danger.”
Senate Republican leaders vow to block the gun provisions, saying they are deal breakers in end-of-session budget negotiations.