Minnesota House Rejects Universal Background Checks

<> on January 5, 2016 in Delray Beach, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Minnesota House has rejected an amendment that would have required universal background checks for almost anyone carrying or possessing a gun.

The proposed restrictions were defeated late last week. According to the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, the proposed law would have penalized many people, including:

  • A hunter who takes a close friend, neighbor, or even a cousin, hunting could face criminal charges if he shares his firearm with his friend depending on whether hunting is legal in all places where the friend possesses the firearm. This means that if the friend or relative possesses the firearm while crossing a road or other area where hunting isn’t legal, the hunter could be prosecuted because the friend’s possession would no longer fit within the narrow language of the provided exception.
  • A member of the military could face criminal charges for having a friend store his firearms while he or she is deployed overseas.
  • A person who is a victim of a stalker or domestic violence, but cannot afford to purchase a firearm for self-defense, would not be able to borrow a firearm from a friend, until the very moment her attacker is standing over her with a deadly weapon.

Universal background checks are already demonstrable failures in the states in which they exist — California, Colorado, and Washington — and they have failed to stop firearm-related terrorist attacks in countries like France as well. In fact, many of the highest-profile shootings and terror attacks in recent memory took place in states and/or countries with universal background checks.

Breitbart News previously reported:

Elliot Rodger–the May 2014 Santa Barbara attacker–acquired his pistol despite such a background check. The December 2, 2015, San Bernardino attackers acquired their handguns with such a background check, and the universal check requirement was impotent to prevent them from getting two rifles from a friend. On November 27, Robert Lewis Dear had a gun and allegedly shot and killed three people at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, although Colorado has universal background checks. The same thing happened on Halloween Day, when Noah Harpman had guns and allegedly opened fire, also killing three in Colorado Springs.

Washington state has universal background checks, and on February 26 a gunman in Mason County shot and killed four, then killed himself. Paris also has universal background checks, plus gun controls that exceed such checks by adding requirements for medical and mental examinations for gun owners. Yet on November 13, terrorists armed to the teeth were able to gun down 130 innocents. And on January 7 last year, two terrorists armed with rifles shot and killed twelve in an attack on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters in Paris.

In addition to the ineffectiveness of universal background checks — as they relate to criminals — the checks also pose a threat to law-abiding citizens’ ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights. NRA spokesperson Catherine Mortensen summed up this threat, saying:

Bloomberg and his Minnesota front groups are doing everything they can to make it harder for law-abiding Minnesotans to exercise their right to self-defense. In addition to piling on more fees and government mandates, this amendment would criminalize common place practices of Minnesota’s law-abiding gun owners. It will do nothing to prevent criminals from obtaining firearms and will only put an unnecessary burden upon law-abiding citizens.

So the Minnesota House rejected the amendment, and the NRA-ILA reports that the House did so by recognizing that the checks, while impotent against determined attackers, do in fact make it harder for law-abiding citizens to acquire the guns they need for self-defense, hunting, and target shooting.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.