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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Josh Heintzeman (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Josh Heintzeman

Friday, March 1, 2019

Dear Neighbors,

On Wednesday, the House Public Safety Committee heard two bills that seek to address the issue of gun violence. I have long been open and upfront with constituents about my support of the 2nd Amendment and believe that citizens have a constitutional right to self-defense. I will not support any legislation that infringes on that right, places undue burdens on law-abiding gun owners, or does away with a person’s right to due process.

The first bill heard was House File 8. This bill would impose several new requirements and restrictions on the transfer of various firearms, including long guns, between private parties.

These are strict new hurdles and barriers that impact law-abiding Minnesotans seeking to exercise their Second Amendment rights and will do little to stop criminals who don't already follow the law today.

In fact, according to a study conducted by the University of California-Davis, there were no changes in firearm homicide or suicide rates 10 years after a universal background check bill was enacted in California.

The second bill, House File 9, creates a process in which family or household members, a chief law enforcement officer, a city or county attorney, or a guardian can petition for an “extreme risk protection order” which would prohibit someone from possessing firearms.

This bill effectively treats people as guilty until proven innocent, which goes against the principles of our legal system. In fact, the bill would allow for an ex-parte hearing, meaning that the court could hold a hearing to determine if a person is indeed a danger to themselves or others without that individual there to defend themselves against the charge.

Police officers would be required to serve the order and individuals would be required to surrender all of their firearms before they have a chance to challenge the order.

Seizure of property without a warrant is a violation of an individual’s civil rights and it is frustrating to see the constitutional right to keep and bear arms treated with such disregard.

Further, Minnesota has tools in place for situations where people feel they are in imminent danger. Those going through mental health crises can be placed on a 72-hour emergency hold. In cases of domestic violence, Minnesota statute directs law enforcement to make an arrest if they believe that domestic violence has occurred in the preceding 72 hours or if the person poses a threat to the alleged victim. I am also concerned that this bill would put law enforcement in harm's way by expecting them to contact and seize guns from gun owners who may not know they have had a gun order seizure levied against them.

Sadly, these bills will do nothing to address the root problems of gun violence in our culture. We need to teach our children that all life is valuable, from conception to natural death and remember that we all have a responsibility to be kind and loving to one another. As a nation, we need to step up to the plate and instill these important values in our youth.

Finally, one quick additional update on the governor’s budget proposal. Included in his proposal are a number of watercraft registration surcharge increases. Take a look below at the proposed changes and let me know your thoughts.

As always, I encourage you to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments regarding state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4333 or via email at

Have a great weekend,