ST. PAUL – This week, House Democrats greenlighted three anti-gun bills, sparking criticism from state Rep. Ben Davis, R-Mission Township, who contends that the measures tend to criminalize law-abiding citizens rather than target violent criminals.

The trio of bills entails new laws on storage, requirements for reporting stolen firearms, and a broadening of the definition of a “trigger activator,” possibly classifying certain commonly used guns as unlawful. These recent proposals build upon last year’s alterations by Democrats, which encompassed universal background checks and red flag confiscation orders.

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Davis voiced concerns about the bill that mandates reporting stolen firearms, arguing that it wrongfully penalizes victims of theft if they fail to report a firearm theft within a specified period.

“It’s evident that Minnesota Democrats are pushing for an outright gun ban,” Davis stated. “They are steadily working towards that end, eroding our Second Amendment rights incrementally by making gun ownership impractical and legally risky. Last year, Democrats implemented universal background checks and red flag confiscation orders. Now, they are back with more bills that ultimately criminalize law-abiding citizens rather than addressing violent criminals.”

He suggested that a more effective strategy would entail intensifying efforts to enforce existing laws, with an emphasis on prosecutors fully charging violent criminals and courts preventing the release of dangerous individuals with lenient sentences.

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“We can’t ignore the reality and attribute the problem to law-abiding citizens or guns themselves,” Davis emphasized. “New regulations on storage or reporting may provide a false sense of security for Democrats, but they won’t deter cold-blooded killers. These bills are simply a Democratic assault on law-abiding gun owners.”

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Following approval by the House along party lines, the bills await consideration in the Senate, where Democrats hold a one-seat majority. Davis highlighted the potential risk, citing an example of a senator facing first-degree felony burglary charges who could hold sway over bills undermining individuals’ ability to defend themselves during a home invasion.

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The bills endorsed by House Democrats this week include:

H.F. 4300: Requires the storage of firearms that are not within the owner’s immediate control in a gun safe, gun room, or in an unloaded state with a locking device. Non-compliance with firearm storage laws is punishable by criminal penalties.

H.F. 601: Mandates that firearm owners report the loss or theft of a firearm to local law enforcement within 48 hours and imposes penalties for failure to report within the stipulated timeframe.

H.F. 2609: Encompasses bipartisan language proposed by House Republicans to heighten penalties for straw buyers of firearms, but also introduces contentious provisions related to the definition of a “trigger activator” that may impact some commonly used guns, potentially rendering them illegal.

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