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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mary Franson (R)

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Legislative Update 5.03.24

Friday, May 3, 2024

Friends and Neighbors,


We’re nearing the end of the session with only ten legislative days remaining for the majority to push through their agenda. This week, our floor sessions extended late into the night, where House Republicans rigorously debated and attempted to amend the majority’s omnibus bills. Given the sheer volume of material, I’ll focus on what I consider most pressing—the gun control legislation and an update on Senator Nicole Mitchell.


Gun Bills

This week, the House passed three gun-related bills: a binary trigger ban, a firearm storage mandate, and mandatory reporting for lost or stolen firearms. Here are my thoughts and updates on each:


HF 4300 introduces a stringent firearm storage mandate that requires firearms to be stored in a specific manner at all times, regardless of whether children are present, even though existing laws already dictate secure firearm storage around children.

This bill takes it a step further, making it illegal to keep a firearm unsecured or without a trigger lock at any time, under any circumstances in your home (though the majority graciously granted us exceptions for things like hunting and LEOs). At home, firearms must be directly controlled, within reach, or locked away. Non-compliance could lead to criminal charges, ranging from a petty misdemeanor to a felony, with the potential for prison time and significant fines.

Despite numerous testimonies highlighting this bill’s impracticality, including several personal stories of assault and how this bill would hamper the right to self defense in one's own home, the Majority passed this bill without a second thought.

I even attempted to amend the bill to include exceptions for those facing harassment, stalking, or immediate danger from a family member, but these amendments were rejected. This bill lacks support from both the MN Peace & Police Officers Association and the MN Sheriffs Association and has seen bipartisan opposition.


HF 601 requires lost and stolen firearms to be reported to law enforcement within 48 hours of when an individual "should have reasonably known" they were a victim. This bill introduces problems by replacing the "clear or convincing evidence" standard with a more subjective "known or should have known."

Additionally, it unfairly penalizes theft or loss victims who fail to report within the 48-hour window, potentially criminalizing law-abiding citizens who may not even know that they are the victim of a crime. Criminalizing victims is not an effective solution to gun violence and might even help criminals avoid prosecution. This bill, too, faced bipartisan opposition


The binary trigger ban was included in a broader bill aimed at combating straw purchases—a provision I support. However, due to the ambiguous language concerning binary triggers, which could potentially ban common firearms like Glocks, I voted against it. The crux of the issue is that the language prohibits triggers that allow you to fire more than one round without fully releasing the trigger, but anyone who has shot a Glock knows that you don't actually have to fully remove your finger from the trigger for the sear to reset and allow you to fire another round.


Senator Mitchell Update

Significant developments have occurred regarding Senator Mitchell since last week. She has resumed voting and now holds the deciding vote on any Senate-passed legislation, thanks to the DFL's slim majority. Even more controversially, she has voted on motions related to halting her voting rights until an ethics investigation into her conduct is completed.

A recent KSTP article, which I urge you to read, includes an interview with the stepmother who Senator Mitchell burglarized. She said that she was worried that Senator Mitchell was going to physically injure her, and that she was so afraid that she "gets goosebumps talking about it."

It's obviously unacceptable to allow Senator Mitchell to vote knowing what we know from the police report, 911 transcript, and an interview with the victim. She is the deciding vote on extremely controversial pieces of legislation during the end of session because the Senate DFL would rather protect her, and their trifecta, than protect the integrity of the institution.

This situation really does call into question just what the DFL was doing yesterday by passing two gun control bills. The debate on those two bills alone took over 12 hours just to head to a Senate where their future is uncertain - will the Senate DFL allow a Senator who is facing felony burglary charges to be the deciding vote on gun control bills?

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