Gun Bill Could Cripple Minnesota’s Youth Shooting Sports – Bearing Arms

Gun Bill Could Cripple Minnesota’s Youth Shooting Sports – Bearing Arms

In just the first few days of Minnesota’s legislative session, we’ve already seen the introduction of sweeping semi-auto bans, repeal of the state’s firearm preemption law,  and proposed storage mandates that would make it almost impossible to act in self-defense inside the home (my colleague Tom Knighton will have more on that in an upcoming piece), to name just a few of the Second Amendment infringements under consideration.  

On today’s Bearing Arms Cam & Co, Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus senior vice president for government affairs Rob Doar shared that one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation is a bill that’s ostensibly aimed at protecting wildlife from lead poisoning, but that also serves as a poison pill to eradicate the state’s incredibly popular high school trap shooting programs.

HF3813 would not only ban the use of lead ammunition while hunting but prohibit its use in youth shooting sports… including the hugely popular Minnesota High School Clay Target League, which has thousands of student-athletes participating around the state. In fact, under the bill any range (indoor or outdoor) that receives grants from the state to help with their operations (grant money, Doar pointed out, that comes from revenue generated by ammunition sales in the state), would have to go lead-free or see that funding disappear. 

“Who’s really going to be the most hurt by this are members of the public like those high school trap shooting teams that use these ranges that utilize these grants to help offset some of those costs and make it a low-cost sport for high schoolers to engage in,” Doar said. “Now, by eliminating their ability to get these grants if they don’t remove the use of lead on their property, essentially we’re going to see high school trap teams shut down. And I think that might be the insidious underlying goal; to kill of the next generation of people who actually care about their Second Amendment rights.” 

Ironically, by targeting youth shooting sports anti-gun lawmakers are helping to turn these student-athletes into activists. Doar noted that there were several high school trap shooters who testified against a “universal” background check bill last year because of the problems it would pose for coaches and volunteers who transport multiple athletes and their shotguns to competitions around the state, and he predicts that lawmakers will be hearing from even more participants this year given the existential threat HF3813 poses to their sport. 

While the attempt to kill off the popular high school trap shooting league is the first bill that Doar and I discussed on today’s show, we also delved into the details of two complementary bills that, taken together, would criminalize the transfer and possession of so-called assault weapons unless gun owners registered their long guns with the state. That’s already problematic enough, but Doar revealed there’s a provision in the legislation that should send shivers down the spines of Second Amendment advocates everywhere. 

“That database is open to the public,” Doar informed me. “They provided no privacy provisions within the bill. So, by default the data is public, and I guarantee you that within a week of this bill passing we’re going to see some anti-gun organization with some neighborhood tracker where you can find your neighbors with registered ‘assault weapons.'” 

So not only would the state government have a handy list of gun owners to target when they eventually repeal the grandfather clause but criminals would know what houses to target for break-ins and gun thefts. And, of course, anti-gunners would also have an invaluable tool to try to name and shame those gun owners who aren’t willing to hand their guns over in the compensated confiscation scheme that’s also a part of the gun ban bills. 

This is far from the “modest” approach to gun legislation that the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party leaders have been touting in the press. Instead, their agenda poses an existential threat to the right to keep and bear arms. 

Doar says he’s already had some productive conversations with DFL lawmakers who represent rural areas, but he’s concerned that some of the proposals that have been introduced, like the storage mandate Tom will be covering later today, could attract support from “moderate” suburban Republicans. Doar’s encouraging every Minnesota gun owner to reach out to their lawmakers and demand they reject this anti-civil rights agenda, while keeping up to date on the status of these bills through the Caucus’s Bill Tracker

We’ll be talking to Rob again in a week or two after the deadline for introducing legislation has passed, but Minnesota gun owners should be wasting no time in chatting up their representative and state senator. Anti-gunners from the governor on down are pushing hard for these bills, even exploiting the shooting of two police officers and a firefighter/paramedic at the hands of a convicted felon who wasn’t legally allowed to possess a gun to call for passage of their proposed storage mandate and other measures. They’re intent on taking a huge bite out of our right to keep and bear arms this session, and an apathetic response from gun owners will only fuel their freedom-killing efforts. 

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