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Urdahl: House Democrats pass three anti-Second Amendment bills

Friday, May 3, 2024


ST. PAUL – House Democrats approved three anti-gun bills this week which state Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, said will do more to make criminals out of law-abiding citizens than crack down on violent criminals.

The three bills include new laws on storage, requirements for reporting stolen firearms, and a new “trigger activator” definition that may render some commonly used guns illegal. These latest proposals follow last year’s changes Democrats enacted regarding universal background checks and red flag confiscation orders.

Urdahl said the bill regarding reporting stolen firearms wrongly criminalizes a victim of a crime if they do not report a firearm theft within a government-prescribed period of time.

“The problem with these bills is they will have very negligible impacts in terms of cracking down on the real bad actors who are committing violent crimes,” Urdahl said. “In fact, these bills could do more to endanger law-abiding gun owners who respect and honor the Second Amendment by placing unnecessary restrictions on them that make it harder to defend themselves.”

Urdahl indicated a better approach would be for our state to step up efforts to enforce existing laws, with prosecutors who are willing to fully charge violent criminals and courts that stop turning dangerous people back out on the street with a slap on the wrist.

“I don’t see how we make any progress on violent crime until we start doing more to enforce our existing laws,” Urdahl said. “The bill to stiffen penalties on straw purchasers borrows language authored by House Republicans and that’s something I support. Unfortunately, there also is unrelated language in that bill that is controversial and undermined bipartisan support.”

After passing the House mainly along party lines, the three bills are now in the hands of the Senate, where Democrats have a one-seat majority. Urdahl said that means a senator who currently faces first-degree felony burglary charges could cast deciding votes on bills undermining people’s ability to defend themselves during a home invasion.

The bills House Democrats approved this week include:

  • H.F. 4300: Requires a person to store a firearm that is not in the person’s direct control or within reach in a gun safe, gun room, or unloaded with a locking device. There are criminal penalties for failing to comply with the firearm storage requirements.
  • H.F. 601: Requires firearm owners to report the loss or theft of a firearm to the local law enforcement agency within 48 hours of its loss and creates a penalty if a person does not report the loss within that timeframe.
  • H.F. 2609: Includes bipartisan language House Republicans propose to increase penalties on straw buyers of firearms, but also features a controversial provision regarding the definition of a “trigger activator” that may impact some commonly used guns and render them illegal.