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Large capacity gun magazines would create felons of owners

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A bill introduced in the 88th Legislative Session Bill H.F. No. 243 would make it a felony in Minnesota to own, possess or sell large capacity magazines. Four Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) House members have introduced the bill in a knee jerk response to recent killings by a mentally disturbed man using a semi-automatic rifle with a large capacity magazine.

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“A bill for an act 1.2 relating to public safety; establishing a crime for manufacturing, transferring, 1.3 or possessing large-capacity magazines...” is the opening paragraph of this insane bill floated by three St. Paul House members and one newbie from Duluth.

The sponsors of the bill are: Alice Hausman, DFL District 66A, of St. Paul; Michael Paymar, DFL District 64B, St. Paul; Sheldon Johnson, DFL District 67B, of St. Paul; and Erik Simonson, DFL District 7B, Duluth, a first term member of the House.

To view this entire bill go to: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=H0243.0.html&session=ls88.

Ownership of a large capacity magazine by anyone other than law enforcement would be a felony. “A person who violates (this law) is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $25,000, or both,” violation could also bring fines of $50,000 up to $100,000 and or prison term of 10 to 20 years.

If one owns a large capacity magazine and decides to sell them on a website such as Gunbroker.com, one would be deemed a felon. “As used in this section, “transfer” means a sale, gift, loan, assignment, or other delivery to another, whether or not for consideration, of a large-capacity magazine” is this House bill’s definition of what it would take to become a criminal in the eyes of these four legislators.

This is not addressing the underlying problem in the mass shootings that have occurred in the past. For example, the Connecticut shooting was by a man whose mother was attempting to have the man committed. The man who shot Gabbie Gifford in Arizona is serving his time in a mental institution. The young man that shot up a theater in Colorado exhibited the signs of mental illness.

So I ask these four representatives, why are you not proposing legislation that will address the ongoing problem of persons with mental illness and their access to guns?

Oh, by the way, if this measure passes those persons possessing large capacity magazines (even those 10/22 10 round standard magazines or the 25 round plastic magazines) must be turned in to local law enforcement for destruction. This is absurd!

This kind of legislation is maniacal. It does not deserve the support of any legislator for the Brainerd lakes area. It is essential that every law abiding gun owner contact state Representatives and senators from our area. (A complete list of our local officials is listed on Page 7A.)

Keith Hansen

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889
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