The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus hosted a rally at the State Capitol Saturday to “defend the Second Amendment” and take a stand against gun-control legislation making its way through the House.
“Michael Bloomberg’s out-of-state gun control agenda is already out in full force during the 2019 legislative session after spending more than $1 million electing an anti-gun majority in the Minnesota House of Representatives,” the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus said in a press release. “We need to keep up the pressure all throughout session to stop gun control in its tracks.”
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) spoke to the crowd gathered in the Capitol rotunda and pledged to fight gun-control legislation in the Senate.
“I can tell you with confidence that even though the governor and the Democratic House wants universal background checks, it ain’t gonna happen. And I can tell you that the crazy red flag laws that they have that will pass out of the House and the governor would sign, the Senate Republicans and a handful of Democrats in the Senate will stop it,” he said.
“On my watch, the Minnesota Senate will protect the 2nd Amendment. We will not allow red flag or universal background check laws to pass” –@mnguncaucus legislative rally #mnleg #mnsenate pic.twitter.com/GrsPmuGkrf
— Paul Gazelka (@paulgazelka) February 23, 2019
“On my watch, the Minnesota Senate will protect the Second Amendment,” Gazelka added. Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) also spoke Saturday and revealed that he’s “among a good number of legislators that carry at the Capitol every year.”
“So why are we here today anyway? It really boils down to this: we need to let Minnesotans know that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. And that ends with a period,” he said. “Ladies and gentlemen, unfortunately our laws are already chalked full of infringements.”
“History clearly shows us through the millions who have died because of the government’s confiscation of guns that we must stand firm,” he added. On Thursday, Drazkowski and his fellow members of the New House Republican Caucus proposed an amendment to the state constitution that would protect the right to bear arms.
The heightened rhetoric surrounding the Second Amendment comes in response to two DFL-backed bills introduced earlier this month. The first, frequently referred to as a “red-flag law,” allows law enforcement and family members to petition a court to “prohibit people from possessing firearms if they pose a significant danger to themselves or others.”
That bill lays out a number of stipulations that would allow courts to seize firearms from Minnesotans, including a history of mental illness, a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor conviction, chemical dependency, domestic violence, dishonorable discharges, and the like.
The second bill would require “criminal background checks” on all firearms transfers, which Drazkowski suggested would lead to a “database” of gun owners.
As Gazelka indicated, neither bill will likely be signed into law this year, since they both need to first pass the Republican-controlled Senate.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo Background Photo “Minnesota Gun Owners Rally” by Paul Gazelka.