This week, state legislators in the North and the South are debating gun control measures.
The Minnesota HOR is expected to pass HF 2890, an Omnibus Bill that includes background checks for everyone and Minnesota’s equivalent of the short risk protection order, or red flag act.
On the other side of the nation, the Alabama legislature is debating a package of proposals that would make it a criminal offense for a gun owner to conceal their carry from a police officer. Additionally, some measures would define a “trigger activator” and make it unlawful for someone with a concealed carry permit to carry a gun on school grounds.
Calls to the bill’s sponsors seeking comment went unanswered.
Brian Strawser said the Minnesota measure would accomplish more than increase background checks. The law would impose private sellers with comparable record-keeping requirements as those for holders of federal gun licenses.
According to Strawser, the state already mandates the need for a permit to buy a pistol or any other assault weapon in the military tradition. The rule would also require that both parties in a private sale conduct background checks on one another and maintain a 20-year record of those checks.
The statute also gives law enforcement the right to ask for the record whenever they want.
A gun dealer might perform the background check, according to Strawser. A state-issued purchasing authorization can demonstrate a background check.
The measure would also establish a red flag. According to Strawser, the law is comparable to those in other states. Suppose a reporting party can persuade a judge that the subject is dangerous to himself or others. In that case, the subject’s firearms may be taken away.
Democrats have a sizable majority in the Minnesota House, according to Strawser. In the State Senate, they only hold a one-vote majority.
A few hundred miles to the south, lawmakers are also debating gun control measures in Alabama. The National Rifle Association (NRA) is urging gun owners in Alabama to oppose the new laws. Still, the NRA’s representative in Alabama believes they will have little impact if passed.
The HB234 measure, according to James Moses, president of the Alabama State Rifle and Pistol Association, is a waste of time because it attempts to define what a trigger activator is.
HB28 and HB12 make it a crime to fail to inform a police officer that you are armed. HB28 also repeals an exemption that previously allowed those with concealed weapons permits to carry firearms on school grounds.
On its website, the NRA urges gun owners in Alabama to vehemently oppose the proposals. The NRA claims that HB12 distorts the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution by making it a Class A misdemeanor for a lawful citizen to refuse to tell law authorities when asked if they carry a gun.
According to the statement, HB28 widens the definition of “gun-free zones” by eliminating an exception that allowed those who carry concealed guns on school grounds. The law also burdens those who follow the law by requiring children to get written authorization from a parent or legal guardian to transfer any firearm, as opposed to mere pistols, as is currently required.
The statement reads that HB234 goes beyond what federal law requires by outlawing specific semi-automatic firearm modifications. Additionally, it mandates that people check every gun they intend to purchase to ensure it hasn’t been modified. It permits the police to confiscate and keep weapons for up to 48 hours while investigating whether they have been unlawfully changed.
According to the statement, any infringement of this clause is automatically regarded as having been made “willfully.”
Moses admitted he hadn’t read the bills but assumed they would have a little impact based on the reporter’s description.
He claimed there was nothing a trigger-activating device could accomplish that couldn’t be done manually and that he wouldn’t have a problem answering questioning from a police officer. Moses said that limiting the right to carry on school grounds makes no more sense than declaring a specific location a gun-free zone.