Minnesota DFL to reintroduce gun control legislation in January

(KSTP) – When the Minnesota Legislature convenes in January, House Democrats plan to reintroduce a Red Flag bill and a separate bill that would require criminal background checks for all firearm transfers and sales.

Rep. Dave Pinto, (DFL) St. Paul, told our sister station, KSTP in St. Paul that his background check bill would require anyone purchasing a gun to have a criminal background check done by the local law enforcement agency where the sale is taking place, but it would also have exceptions for the transfer of guns between immediate family members.

“We have background checks on all gun sales and this would require them on all gun sales,” said Pinto. “Immediate family members, siblings, spouses, parents, grandparents, the background check would not apply. But, if you have a second cousin, you may not know about that person’s criminal record.”

Rob Doar, with the Minnesota Gun Caucus, told KSTP the criminal background bill is too broad.

“It says all transfers. Now, if I were to loan you a firearm to go hunting for the weekend, that’s a transfer,” said Doar.  “If you need a gun for self-defense in your home and maybe you don’t have the funds and I have a spare one, that’s a transfer and we’ve have to go to a federally licensed dealer in order to process that transfer.”

Pinto said the Red Flag bill would allow a judge to temporarily take guns away from someone who has proven to be a danger to himself, or others.

“And, so it provides for a court process to be able do that,” said Pinto. “This is a mechanism that’s in use in other states around the country.

Doar said the bill does not allow the accused to have fair due process.

“We think, at the very least, there needs to be an adversarial hearing where the accused person has the right, and ability, to offer their defense and a counter-side to the story,” said Doar.

State lawmakers, in the past two legislative sessions, did not pass any gun control measures.