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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Shane Mekeland (R)

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Legislative update

Friday, April 26, 2024

Dear Neighbor,

We have yet another case where, just when you think you’ve seen it all at the Capitol, the Democrats go ahead and prove otherwise.

This time, they’re creating a scenario where someone charged with burglarizing a home could cast the deciding vote on bills that make it harder for you to defend yourself and your family during a home invasion.

It goes like this:

Democrats have a one-seat majority in the Senate. One of their members just this week was charged with felony burglary, meaning Senate Democrats are unable to pass partisan bills on a party-line vote unless she participates.

Meanwhile, House Democrats have put three highly controversial anti-Second Amendment bills on the calendar for a vote on Monday. H.F. 601 puts the onus on the victim of a crime to file a report to law enforcement within the government’s definition of reasonable time. H.F. 2609 includes an expanded definition of trigger activators, which may impact some commonly used guns.

Then there is H.F. 4300, which places additional firearm storage burdens on law-abiding firearm owners. Specifically, the bill 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. In other words, potentially separating you from your last line of defense someone invades your home.

House Democrats can pass all three of these bills on party-line votes Monday and send them to the Senate for final approval, where someone charged with burglary could cast that 34th vote and send these anti-Second Amendment bills to the governor’s desk for enactment.

If there’s any common sense left in our state, any integrity left among legislators, or a drop of respect remaining for the Minnesota House and Senate as institutions, now’s the time to see it. We cannot allow a sitting member charged with burglary to cast the deciding vote on anything, much less something so crucial as gun laws.

Allowing her to participate in legislative business while facing felony burglary charges would damage the legislature as an institution, and potentially our state as a whole.

Democrats must hold their members to the standards set forth in Senate rules. They need to put partisanship aside and focus on passing bills that have support from both sides of the aisle. That seems like the only way to salvage an orderly conclusion to this session.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out. As they say, the situation is fluid. Stay tuned.