House passes red-flag, universal background check proposals 

The House version of the bill includes universal background checks for firearm purchases and a red-flag proposal.

Rep. Kelly Moller, DFL-Shoreview, speaks on the House floor Wednesday. (Minnesota House Info/YouTube)

The Minnesota House passed an omnibus judiciary and public safety bill Wednesday that contains two controversial gun-control measures.

The Senate version of the omnibus bill, which passed earlier this month, doesn’t include the gun-control proposals and the differences between the two bills will have to be sorted out in a conference committee in the coming days, Session Daily reported.

“We’re working on the strategy and the tactics. We’re trying to get this all done and across the finish line. Right now we’re still putting together all of our packages and that’s where we’re at,” Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park, the author of the Senate version, said during an April 14 press conference.

The House version of the bill includes universal background checks for firearm purchases and a red-flag proposal, which allows family members or law enforcement officers to petition a court for the removal of firearms from individuals who pose a danger to themselves or others. The individuals do not have to be charged with a crime in order for a court to issue the order.

“To add insult to injury, as Democrats bend over backwards to take it easy on convicted felons, their gun proposals will turn otherwise law-abiding Minnesotans into criminals if they fail to follow complicated and burdensome new processes laid out in the bill,” House GOP public safety lead Rep. Paul Novotny, R-Elk River, said in a statement.

“There are ways to keep neighborhoods safe and make sure firearms do not fall into the hands of criminals without violating civil rights. This bill dramatically misses the mark on both accounts and will make Minnesota less safe,” he added.

The bill also includes the “Minnesota Rehabilitation and Reinvestment Act,” which would allow felons to serve just half of their prison sentences if they complete rehabilitation programming.

“Our committee has worked tirelessly to craft a public safety bill which invests in several proven methods to make Minnesota safer for everyone. This bill was crafted with significant input from stakeholders and criminal justice partners to ensure our final bill includes the perspective and expertise from those who represent every corner of our public safety system,” said Rep. Kelly Moller, DFL-Shoreview, one of the authors of the House bill.

Republicans also objected to a provision in the bill that they say would authorize the Minnesota Department of Human Rights to track “hate” speech.


Anthony Gockowski

Anthony Gockowski is Editor-in-Chief of Alpha News. He previously worked as an editor for The Minnesota Sun and Campus Reform, and wrote for the Daily Caller.