Minnesota

Editorial: Background check legislation the type of law "Minnesota needs" by Charles Yeganian

Letter from Jo Haugen (Eagen, MN) to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press:

The Minnesota Legislature has two bills up for consideration right now, HF8 and SF434, that would require background checks on all gun sales. This is the kind of sensible gun law that Minnesota needs.

A new report came out this month from Everytown for Gun Safety that demonstrates exactly why we need to shore up our background check law. In a year-long investigation of Armslist.com, an online gun sales marketplace, nearly 1.2 million ads were found to have no legal requirement for a background check. Over 28,000 of those ads were in Minnesota because they were from individual sellers, not licensed dealers.

Even more frightening was the part of the investigation centered on the ads placed by the investigators themselves in Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Tennessee. The ads did not mention the requirement of a background check since federal law doesn’t require a background check unless the seller is a licensed dealer, and, like Minnesota, those states had no additional requirements.

Minnesota HF 8 is cosponsored by LEAPers Heather Edelson and Michael Howard. LEAP Forward is grading action on both HF 8 and SF 434 and scoring support.

Dean Phillips (MN-03) Cosponsors Universal Background Check Legislation by Charles Yeganian

From Melissa Turniten, Lakeshore Weekly News:

“This is not a partisan issue,” Phillips said in a statement. “In fact, the vast majority of Democrats, independents and Republicans support universal background checks on gun sales. Passing H.R. 8 won’t end our gun violence crisis, but it is an important first step, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to join us in advancing this long overdue legislation.”

During his campaign, Phillips said he would be an advocate for gun violence prevention. H.R. 8 would require federal background checks on nearly all firearm sales, including private sales, but would have some exemptions, such as gun exchanges between family members.

This bill would close a loophole that allows people to buy guns at gun shows or online without a background check. Supporters of universal background checks say they can help stop gun violence by keeping guns out of the hands of people who are deemed dangerous, such as people convicted of felonies, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill, a news release explained.