On Wednesday, the Minnesota House Public Safety Committee will hold the first hearing on two gun safety bills that are priorities for both Gov. Tim Walz and the leaders of the Minnesota House of Representatives:
- HF 8, which would require criminal background checks on all Minnesota gun sales.
- HF 9, a Red Flag bill that would allow family members and law enforcement to petition a court for an Extreme Risk Protection Order temporarily restricting a person’s access to firearms when there is evidence that they pose a threat to self or others.
Polls have shown the vast majority of Minnesotans support these measures:
- Polling conducted last April by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune found that 9 in 10 Minnesotans support criminal background checks on all gun sales.
- Additional polling last year found 87 percent of Minnesotans support temporarily blocking a person from having guns if there are clear red flags.
A recent report showed that in 2018 alone, there were as many as 28,818 ads on Armslist.com offering guns for sale in Minnesota with no background check required. Under current federal law, background checks are required only for gun sales by licensed firearm dealers. No background check is required for sales by unlicensed individuals, who can sell guns to strangers they meet online or at gun shows – with no background check, no questions asked, and no way to know whether the buyer is a criminal or otherwise prohibited from having guns.
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