Republican state senator no longer supports gun control bill

In a statement to Alpha News, Sen. Housley clarified the reasons behind her initial co-authorship of the bill, and her eventual change of heart.

Sen. Karin Housley, R-Stillwater, speaks during a Feb. 27 press conference outlining the Republican legislative agenda. (Minnesota Senate Media Services/YouTube)

Minnesota Sen. Karin Housley, R-Stillwater, removed her name from a gun control bill brought forward by several Democrats in the Minnesota Legislature. Signing on to the legislation at the end of February, Sen. Housley is no longer listed as a co-author of SF 4312.

Authored by Sen. Heather Gustafson, D-Vadnais Heights, SF 4312 would set new laws for how firearms must be stored. Under the proposed law, gun owners must either leave their firearms unloaded with a locking device or store them in a legitimate “firearm storage unit” such as a safe when not being used. The law would apply when a firearm is not in the “direct physical control or reach” of its owner.

Citizens who break the law would face legal consequences ranging from misdemeanors to felonies depending on the nature of the offense.

Democrats in the Minnesota Legislature say they have proposed this law in response to incidents where children or unauthorized persons have obtained access to firearms.

Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn, D-Roseville, the author of the bill in the House, said during a recent committee hearing that the legislation would still allow individuals to keep loaded firearms in a nightstand for home defense.

On Feb. 29, Sen. Housley signed on as a co-author of the bill.

A central component of the Democrats’ gun-control agenda, the so-called “safe storage bill” has faced criticism from many pro-gun organizations and citizens.

Rob Doar, the executive director of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, warned that the very act of storing a loaded firearm improperly, regardless of its use, could land someone in jail for a year under the proposed law. Doar also pointed out that the bill does not seek to educate law-abiding Minnesotans on the potential new storage standards.

As such, enactment of this law could mean tens of thousands of Minnesotans, who have properly stored their firearms for decades, could suddenly be in violation of the law overnight.

In a Minnesota House committee hearing, a private citizen spoke out against the bill, saying the Minnesota Legislature does not have the right to restrict his ability to defend his home.

In a statement to Alpha News, Sen. Housley clarified the reasons behind her initial co-authorship of the bill, and her eventual change of heart.

“I’m committed to developing common sense solutions that preserve personal freedoms and liberty, while keeping kids and families safe and making sure guns are not accessible to violent criminals,” said Sen. Housley. “My initial decision to be a co-author on this bill was based on the concerns of many of those in my district. Unfortunately, this specific piece of legislation is still in need of a lot of work and consideration, and I cannot support it in its current form. This is a sensitive issue for many, and I value all of the feedback I have received.”


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.