Guest Opinion: Democrats’ agenda this legislative session is extreme

Gun, energy bills being proposed are no laughing matter.

Justin Eichorn.jpg
State Sen. Justin Eichorn, R-Grand Rapids
Contributed / Minnesota Senate

Friends and neighbors, this week Democrats introduced one of the most extreme gun bills we have ever seen. We had a feeling this was coming because the House has already been working on a bunch of gun control bills, including bills for universal gun registration, red-flag, gun storage restrictions, and criminalizing the failure to report a lost or stolen gun.

Senate File 1723 is even more expansive, restrictive, and anti-gun than what the House is working on.

Think of every liberal anti-gun activist’s dream gun control bill, and it is in there:

  • It requires registration of all firearms,
  • It requires registration of all magazines that hold more than 10 rounds,
  • It bans the purchase of most semi-automatic rifles,
  • It requires all gun owners to have a permit to possess a firearm,
  • It requires all gun owners to carry liability insurance,
  • It prohibits you from carrying at any and all government facilities and properties,
  • It restricts you from purchasing only one gun every 30 days,
  • It creates a crime for carrying a firearm past a sign,
  • It prohibits 18-20-year-olds from possessing handguns or most semi-automatic rifles,
  • It requires physical and mental health testing.

It should go without saying that I will vehemently oppose this bill and all other anti-gun bills that come before me.
Gun ownership is an important part of our cultural and historical identity here in northern Minnesota. Hunting, sport shooting, and gun ownership are deeply ingrained in our way of life. Guns are also an important aspect of protecting our families, animals, and property – especially in northern Minnesota where there are a lot of sparsely populated areas and police response time can take a while.

Finally, gun ownership is simply a fundamental right enshrined in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, as a safeguard against a potential tyrannical government. It shall not be infringed.


Democrats’ energy agenda gets comical

The Blackout bill will put our grid in serious jeopardy and cause you to pay more. And this week they followed it up with a bill that would add a slate of new state mandates for electric vehicles, including a requirement that agencies default to purchasing electric vehicles for state fleets, an electrification plan for Minnesota, and a provision allowing utilities to pass off the expensive costs of their bill to ratepayers. It will be extremely expensive, especially for low-income folks who will shoulder a greater share of the cost.

Those bills are no laughing matter, but I can’t help but chuckle at some of the ridiculous lengths they are going to ban gas-powered engines. Here are two recent examples:

House Democrats introduced legislation to ban all gas-powered lawn equipment, including lawnmowers, leaf blowers, hedge clippers, chainsaws, edgers, trimmers, and more. The ban would apply to all gas engines under 25 horsepower, so even most riding lawnmowers would be subject to it.

House Democrats also want to mandate electric zambonis by 2025. How will the hundreds of small arenas scattered throughout the state be able to afford this?

Sometimes you just have to laugh and shake your head. But at the speed Democrats are going, don’t be surprised if these bills eventually become law too.

Justin Eichorn represents the 6th District in the Minnesota Senate.

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