Democrats introduce bill to eliminate mandatory minimums for gun crimes

Rep. Cedrick Fraizer, D-New Hope, and Sen. Zaynab Mohamed, D-Minneapolis, introduced HF 4277 last month.

Rep. Cedrick Fraizer, D-New Hope, and Sen. Zaynab Mohamed, D-Minneapolis, introduced HF 4277 last month.

Two left-wing Democrats have introduced legislation to eliminate mandatory minimum prison sentences for crimes in which firearms were brandished, displayed, used to threaten, or otherwise employed.

Rep. Cedrick Fraizer, D-New Hope, and Sen. Zaynab Mohamed, D-Minneapolis, introduced HF 4277 last month.

Under current law, anyone who commits certain crimes while brandishing or using a firearm is subject to a criminal charge that, if convicted, will result in their imprisonment for at least three years. Any repeat offenders are subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.

Frazier and Mohamed’s bill would strip these mandatory minimum sentences out of state law. Furthermore, HF 4277 would establish a so-called “Task Force on Mandatory Minimum Sentences.”

This task force would be created to “collect and analyze data on the charging, convicting, and sentencing of persons to mandatory minimum sentences; assess whether current laws and practices promote public safety and equity in sentencing; and make recommendations to the legislature.”

In short, the task force would study mandatory minimum sentences and make determinations on whether those sentences are biased against particular groups. Under the proposed law, members of the task force would include multiple appointees from the governor, a member of a statewide civil rights organization, the commissioner of corrections, and others.

Throughout the 93rd Session of the Minnesota Legislature, Rep. Fraizer has supported a variety of gun control bills. In 2023, the New Hope legislator supported legislation to establish a “Red Flag” law and universal background checks in Minnesota.

Additionally, Rep. Frazier signed on to co-sponsor legislation which would set new standards for how Minnesotans store their firearms. Under this proposed law, thousands of law-abiding gun owners in Minnesota could be found in violation of the law overnight if it were enacted.

Currently, no other Democrats have sponsored the repeal of gun-related mandatory minimums other than the two chief authors.

Several members of the Minnesota House of Representatives have expressed outrage that Democrats would simultaneously push to increase gun control on law-abiding Minnesotans while lightening sentences for gun-toting criminals.

Rep. Pam Altendorf, R-Red Wing, lambasted HF 4277 in a social media post on X. Ostensibly referring to supporters of the bill, Rep. Altendorf said, “These people are radicals, Marxists who want to control the public NOT reduce crime!”

“If you truly care about eliminating gun violence, why in the hell would you want to reduce penalties for violent criminals who use a gun to commit a crime?” said Rep. Elliott Engen, R-White Bear Township, regarding HF 4277. “Utter insanity.”


Luke Sprinkel

Luke Sprinkel previously worked as a Legislative Assistant at the Minnesota House of Representatives. He grew up as a Missionary Kid (MK) living in England, Thailand, Tanzania, and the Middle East. Luke graduated from Regent University in 2018.