Democratic Minnesota Senatorholding fast despite only a one-vote majority, successfully passed sweeping gun control legislation in an effort to keep guns out of the hands of people in crisis and criminals.
The public safety and judiciary finance and policy agreement was passed early Tuesday, May 16 with a vote of 69-63, after the Senate passed it 34-33 on Friday, May 12.
The proposals include a controversial “red flag law” that would allow authorities to ask courts for “excessive protection orders” to temporarily take guns away from people deemed to be an imminent threat to others or themselves.
“What we’re going to provide — finally — is a path forward for families and law enforcement who know someone is showing signs of crisis and danger,” said Democratic Sen. Rob Latz of St. Louis Park, chairman of the public safety committee of the Senate. “And it will give them lawful tools to separate people in crisis from the weapons that are around them.”
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The provision is part of a broader public safety budget bill that also includes expanded background checks for gun transfers, with opponents arguing that it violates a person’s due process and the Second Amendment to the constitution.
The background check extension requires a background check for private transfers, excluding family and law enforcement, of handguns and “semi-automatic military-style assault weapons.”
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Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz is expected to sign the bill into law, after sharing his thoughts on the legislation in a Twitter post on Tuesday.
“As a veteran, gun owner, hunter, and father, I know that basic gun safety is not a threat to the Second Amendment. It is part of our first responsibility to our children: Keeping them safe,” Waltz wrote in a post on Twitter. “If the bill comes to my desk, I will sign a red flag law and background checks into law.”
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The bill also includes:
- Expanding the definition of bias crimes to include gender identity
- Create an Office on Missing and Murdered Black Women and Girls
- Provide $8.8 million for law enforcement recruitment and retention over the next four years
- Increasing funding for the state’s judicial system, including raising salaries for judges
- Preventing strip searches of juvenile detainees