Fri. Nov 22nd, 2019

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HF 8 – Minnesota House File – Our take on the MN Universal background check legislation

5 min read

This week saw the passage out of committee of the Minnesota version of universal background checks titled House File (HF) 8. The bill is straight out of the Bloomberg anti-gun manual for liberals and is sloppily written and rolls back significant pro gun legislation.

In the very first paragraph of the bill it adds language to that found in 624.7131 (Transferee Permit: Penalty) that changes the age to purchase a shotgun or rifle from the current age of 18 years old to 21 (“Any person 21 years of age or older may apply for a transferee permit…”)

It also eliminates the use of a MN Carry permit in lieu of a permit purchase. So that even if you have a carry permit and have been put through a background check every year by your Sheriff, you would need a purchase permit from your local police chief to purchase a firearm of any type (Sub 9 of 624.7131 is stricken in the proposed bill).

Sub. 6 of 624.7132 is stricken which currently prevents a police chief from sitting on an application for a purchase permit past 30 days. In our current system if the applicant is not denied the transferee permit (he or she is eligble to receive the permit) they are able to apply to that Sheriff or Police Chief and the permit would be granted. That section is now stricken meaning that the police chief or sheriff could site on the application for the permit indefinitely and there is no redress given in the bill.

Sec.3 of 624.7131 regarding private transfers is the most significant change in the law.

Now if you sell a firearm to another individual (other than family and a couple of other exceptions), a transfer report needs to be completed between the buyer and seller and a copy kept by both parties. And the buyer needs to show his or her purchase permit and a state or federally issued I.D.

The record of transfer must contain the SERIAL number of the firearm, the manufactuer’s name, and make/model, and the firearm type (pistol, rifle or shotgun).

The transfer report also must contain a clear photocopy of each person’s current state or federally issued ID, a clear photcopy of the purchase permit, and a signed statement by the buyer swearing he is not prohibited by state or federal law from owning a firearm.

Transfer forms are to be made available at no charge through the BCA. The exclusions to private transfers are shown at the end of this article.

Note that while an 18 year old member of the armed services is allowed to purchase a firearm (rifle or shotgun) from a private party (they are exempted from the requirements see Sub. 6 below) there is no such exemption for the same 18 year old member of the armed services in purchasing a new firearm (rifle or shotgun) from a dealer. This is just one example of the sloppy writing found in HF 8.

The bill now heads to the Republican majority in Minnesota Senate where I am hoping it dies.

In summary, HF 8 does the following:
1) Mandates a purchase permit issued by a police chief for all firearm purchases in Minnesota (with exceptions found in private transfers)
2) Raises the age of purchasing a rifle or shotgun to 21, and establishes a defacto gun registration scheme through transfer reports for private transfers.
3) Strips carry permit holders of the ability to use their carry permits as a purchase permits.

It is a draconian bill that tramples on our Second Amendment rights and it should NOT become law.

Subd. 6.
Exclusions.
(a) This section shall not apply to the following transfers:

(1) a transfer by or to a federally licensed firearms dealer;

(2) a transfer by or to any law enforcement agency;

(3) to the extent the transferee is acting within the course and scope of employment and
official duties, a transfer to:

(i) a peace officer, as defined in section 626.84, subdivision 1, paragraph (c);

(ii) a member of the armed forces of the United States, the National Guard, or the
Reserves of the United States armed forces;

(iii) a federal law enforcement officer; or

(iv) a security guard employed by a protective agent licensed pursuant to chapter 326;

(4) a transfer between immediate family members, which for the purposes of this section
means spouses, domestic partners, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, and
grandchildren;

(5) a transfer to an executor, administrator, trustee, or personal representative of an estate
or a trust that occurs by operation of law upon the death of the former owner of the firearm;

(6) a transfer of an antique firearm as defined in section 624.712, subdivision 3;

(7) a transfer of a curio or relic, as defined in Code of Federal Regulations, title 27,
section 478.11, if the transfer is between collectors of firearms as curios or relics as defined
by United States Code, title 18, section 921(a)(13), who each have in their possession a
valid collector of curio and relics license issued by the United States Department of Justice,
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives;

(8) the temporary transfer of a firearm if:

(i) the transfer is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm; and

(ii) the person’s possession lasts only as long as immediately necessary to prevent such
imminent death or great bodily harm; and

(9) a temporary transfer if the transferee’s possession of the firearm following the transfer
is only:

(i) at a shooting range that operates in compliance with the performance standards under
chapter 87A or is a nonconforming use under section 87A.03, subdivision 2, or, if compliance
is not required by the governing body of the jurisdiction, at an established shooting range
operated consistently with local law in the jurisdiction;

(ii) at a lawfully organized competition involving the use of a firearm, or while
participating in or practicing for a performance by an organized group that uses firearms as
part of the performance;

(iii) while hunting or trapping if the hunting or trapping is legal in all places where the
transferee possesses the firearm and the transferee holds all licenses or permits required for
hunting or trapping; or….

[[UDATE]]

The U.S. House of Representatives has also passed it’s version of universal background checks for a firearm purchase. Here are the Republican turncoats who voted with the Democrats in favor of the bill:

“Republican” co-sponsors of this latest Intolerable Act were:
Rep. Peter King (NY-2)
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1)
Rep. Brian J. Mast (FL-18)
Rep. Fred Upton (MI-6)
Rep. Christopher H. Smith (NJ-4)
Joining them in voting for this attack on gun-owning constituents were:
Vern Buchanan (FL-16)
Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25)
Will Hurd (TX-23)

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