Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It’s been another busy week in St. Paul filled with committee hearings, constituent meetings, and long floor sessions debating and voting on bills. A huge thank you to all the local folks that took the time to visit St. Paul this week to discuss things that are important to you and our area.
I encourage anyone interested in state government to set up an appointment to visit my office in St. Paul sometime this year. It would be great to speak with you and learn about your priorities.
On Thursday, the House voted on and approved gun control legislation. As a 33-year law enforcement veteran and firearms instructor, I’ve made clear my support for the 2nd Amendment and law-abiding Minnesotans’ right to protect themselves and their families.
For that reason, I voted “no” on both bills.
The first bill, House File 8, would impose several new restrictions on the transfer of pistols and semi-automatic rifles. These strict new hurdles and barriers will have a significant and negative impact on law-abiding Minnesotans seeking to exercise their Second Amendment rights. While it punishes law-abiding folks, it will do little to prevent criminals from obtaining firearms who already have no intention of following the law in the first place.
Further, the bill could inadvertently turn people into criminals if they don't follow the exact processes laid out in the bill.
The second bill, House File 9, creates an “Extreme Risk Protection Order” or a so-called “red-flag” process that would allow an individual to file a petition with the courts to have your firearms seized by law enforcement if they believe you are a risk to yourself or others.
Not only does this bill raise serious questions about the 2nd Amendment, but it also creates issues regarding due process, and would likely put law enforcement in harm’s way if they were required to serve such an order.
The order can be handed down after an ex-parte court hearing. This means that the hearing can take place without the accused present to defend themselves or contest the order. This effectively treats people as guilty until proven innocent, which goes against the principles of our legal system.
No other constitutional right is treated with as much disregard and disdain as the 2nd Amendment. As long as I am your representative, I will continue to protect this important right that ensures law-abiding Minnesotans can protect themselves and their families.
Staying in Touch
I recently toured the site of the Northern Metals fire in Becker. During the tour, Senator Mary Kiffmeyer and I were briefed by Sherburne County Sheriff Brott about the timeline of the response to the incident. I was pleased to hear that fire has been contained and the situation is under control.
Thank you to local law enforcement, fire departments and first responders at the scene who have done and continue to do an outstanding job containing the fire and keeping the surrounding community safe from the blaze.
Air quality monitoring is taking place in the area and anyone who is interested in checking levels can visit www.purpleair.com.
On Thursday, February 27th I met with local members of ABATE (American Bikers for Awareness Training and Education) to discuss concerns they have about pending legislation including onerous insurance mandates.
Gloria Vande Brake, with the Big Lake Chamber of Commerce, visited on Thursday as well. We discussed upcoming events and issues impacting the Big Lake area.
Please reach out to me if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4237 or via email at email@example.com.
Have a great weekend,