Republican senators discuss bill to make straw purchases of guns a felony ahead of House hearing

Republican senators discuss bill to make straw purchases of guns a felony ahead of House hearing

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(KSTP) – Members of the Senate GOP blasted DFL lawmakers Thursday morning ahead of a hearing for a bill that aims to increase penalties for straw purchases of firearms.

Last year, Senator Julia Coleman (R-Waconia) and other Republicans authored SF 733 to make straw purchasing a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and add an aggravating factor that could push the penalty up to seven years of prison. However, it stalled in the DFL-controlled Legislature.

Following last month’s shooting that killed three first responders in Burnsville — for which the mother of some of the suspect’s children is now charged with straw purchasing and faces up to 15 years in prison — Rep. Kaela Berg (DFL-Burnsville) introduced a measure to make straw purchasing a felony with an aggravating factor that would make the maximum penalty five years in prison.

Just before the House of Representatives hearing on Berg’s bill, HF 2609, Sen. Coleman said, “Democrats are playing political games, they are abusing their power and lives are on the line.”

She added, “Three men are dead and I firmly believe that if she had known that she was going to be facing a felony in the state of Minnesota, she would’ve thought twice.”

In addition to the straw purchasing penalties, Berg’s bill also aims to strengthen the statutory definition of trigger activators and would require reporting on gun trafficking and firearm seizures. Trigger activators are detachable devices that enable regular guns to be fired at a higher rate of speed, such as that of a machine gun.

A live video of the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee will be available to watch at 10:30 a.m. HERE.


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