Gun bill fails at Capitol

With little fanfare or attention today, a Minnesota House committee defeated an attempt to close the so-called “gun show loophole” in the state.

The bill would have required background checks for people who buy guns at gun shows. It failed in the House Crime Victims/Criminal Records Division on a 5-to-3 vote.

According to Session Daily:

Rep. Paul Kohls (R-Victoria) and Rep. Dave Olin (DFL-Thief River Falls) said no evidence was presented showing a definitive connection between gun show sales and crimes with a firearm.

That’s true. But why is that? One reason might be because Minnesota doesn’t track the origin of guns used in crimes, according to a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety. If guns bought at gun shows are used in crimes, there isn’t a mechanism for knowing it or how often (or not) it happens.

Only in some high-profile case would such a connection occur.

One did in 2003 when a woman bought a gun at a gun show, then used it to shoot two people — killing one — in Hennepin County Government Center.

Opponents of the bill said a background check wouldn’t have prevented the woman from buying the gun.

  • Tomo Lennox

    It feels wrong that we should make laws to protect ourselves against dangerous people buying guns from gun stores, but treat gun shows like they are just two people trading things. Gun shows are big, public events where lots of money changes hands. It feels like they should follow the rules for gun shops not private sales.

    I would feel safer at nite, if we as a society had more power to deny guns to people who have shown themselves to not be responsible. The idea that every kook can have a gun, and if you don’t like it, buy your own gun and have a shoot-out feels really barbaric.

  • Randy Martin

    Once again the NRA lobby scares everyone from a common sense law. Closing the gun show loophole has wide public support, but anytime the NRA says “jump” the weak outstate DFLers say “how high?”

    By lobbing to protect this loophole the NRA is putting profit over public safety.

  • Joel Reiter

    Once again the gun haters have crafted a clever deception. Having succeeded in making people believe that so-called assault rifles are capable of automatic fire, they have now targeted private sales of guns by going after gun shows.

    Dealers who sell at gun shows are bound by the same background check requirements that apply in their stores. The only people affected by this law are private sellers, and once they are forced to register their transactions with the government, it is only a small step toward registering all firearms.

    That’s what the gun haters want. Unfortunately for them, gun owners outnumber gun haters, so this deceptive legislation continues to fail in a democratic society.

  • Bill Jungbauer

    I would bet my bottom dollar that Tomo Lennox and Randy Martin have never been to a gun show let alone own a single firearm. I have bought several firearms at gun shows and have had to do the firearms transaction paperwork because it is a rare occasion that a private citizen has set up a table at any gun show I have attended. It has always been dealers that are required by law to have a customer fill out the paperwork.

    Chuck the rose colored glasses and your Utopian ideas and join the real world. There are predators out there.

  • Scott Murphy

    There is no gun show loophole. It’s a proposal to restrict private gun sales at gun shows. An analogy would be not allowing cars to be sold at car shows by private sellers. MN already requires people buying firearms from private sellers to have a permit to acquire or a carry permit to prove they are allowed to purchase a firearm just like if they were buying from a dealer. I will also state that every gun I have purchased from a private party at a gun show has required me to show current state ID and a carry permit in the case of handguns. I’m not even going to bother mentioning that less than 2% of guns used in crimes have come from a gun show according to the FBI and BATFE.

    What other civil right would you propose being subjected to prior restraint in the way guns are? Shall we start requiring a speech permit before allowing a journalist access to the internet or a printing press? How about a religious license after all look at how many children have been abused by religious leaders. How about a permitting system before your email is safe from unreasonable search?

    If one looks at the number of people killed by the writing and speech of people like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro and some Rwandan politicians, celebrities and radio people I tend to think gun deaths pale in comparison. After all just those people I mentioned are responsible for between 100 and 150 million deaths depending on who’s statistics one uses. One more interesting fact, all of the above dictators disarmed their people before they slaughtered them. Oops I should also mention that the US used gun control laws to help with the murder of several million Indians in the first 150 years of our country’s existence as well as to control and render helpless African Americans from the Klan and government discrimination.

    Gun control is not about crime or criminals it’s just about control.