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Law Abiding Gun Owners to Air Grievances

posted May 6, 2013, 12:24 PM by Ronnie V   [ updated May 6, 2013, 2:06 PM ]

Law Abiding Gun Owners to Air Grievances

May 6, 2013

Minneapolis Minn. - Law abiding Twin Cities area gun owners are planning to gather Monday evening, May 6, to air their grievances about metro DFL legislators and Protect Minnesota, a gun control organization, both of which the group says proposed and supported misdirected gun control legislation that targeted law abiding gun owners in the 2013 session.

"Instead of focusing their efforts on legislation that would have strengthened our existing background check system and would have strengthened penalties against those who commit gun crimes, metro democrats and Protect Minnesota set their sights on the easy target, law abiding gun owners," said Ryan Krieg, a gun rights activist and spokesperson for Minnesotans for the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and Twin Cities Gun Owners & Carry Forum.

Krieg listed an array of bills introduced, well over a dozen, including some that he says proposed everything from bans and confiscation of common use firearms all the way down to and including simple five and six shot revolvers, bans on standard capacity magazines, a bill requiring that permit holders who accidentally step on school property be charged with a felony, a bill that would have repealed state preemption that would have created a patchwork of differing firearms laws throughout the state and a bill giving local police jurisdictions arbitrary authority to deny permit applications.

"They tried to throw everything including the kitchen sink at us law abiding gun owners," Krieg said, stating that none of the proposed bills would have stopped future mass shootings or would have kept criminals from obtaining firearms illegally. "Criminals and deranged people don't care about laws," insisted Krieg. "We have an existing system [National Instant Check System, NICS] that isn't being properly supplied with information about prohibited persons, and we have existing laws that aren't being enforced or properly prosecuted. We all want to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, and this legislature missed their opportunity to do something meaningful toward that end."

Krieg noted the exception of metro DFL representative Debra Hilstrom (40B DFL) who introduced a bill, HF 1323, that addressed fixing the gaps in NICS by requiring the state to timely report information into the system and which also proposed increased penalties for straw buyers and those who commit gun crimes. "That bill had the support of nearly 80 bi-partisan co-authors and had the support of Minnesota sheriffs, including Hennepin County's sheriff [Rich Stanek], but [Rep. Michael] Paymar (64B DFL) refused to give the bill a hearing in the public safety committee, and Protect Minnesota came out against the bill by playing the race card and specifically opposing increased sentences for criminals who commit gun crimes," said Krieg, "that's unconscionable and they need to be held accountable for their actions."

Krieg also said that the attempt at adding a provision for watered down "background checks at gun shows" amounted to nothing more than "feel good legislation" that would not have kept criminals from obtaining guns illegally. "The forty percent gun show loop hole is a myth," Krieg said. "It's been debunked repeatedly."

The group of gun owners had been planning a peaceful demonstration on Monday evening to oppose the gun control proposals until House speaker Paul Thissen announced last week that no gun bills would be voted on this session. "We changed the demonstration to a 'battle' victory celebration and chance to re-energize to strengthen us for the next wave of attacks on law abiding gun owners," said Krieg. The group is meeting at The Library Bar in Dinkytown at 6 p.m., Krieg stated that it's a casual social gathering and an opportunity for gun owners to make connections and strategize about upcoming elections. "We have every intention of actively mobilizing to unseat the politicians who targeted us and attempted to infringe on our civil rights."