Should Minnesota add a gun rights amendment to its constitution?

Minnesota is one of only four states in the nation that does not have some provision in its constitution addressing the right to own guns. That could change under a bill filed at the Legislature today.

Rep. Tom Hackbarth is proposing a constitutional amendment be placed on the ballot acknowledging the right to keep, bear, and use arms:

It would read:

The right of a citizen to keep, bear, and use arms for the defense and security of the person, family, or home, or for lawful hunting, recreation, or marksmanship training is fundamental and shall not be infringed.

To appear on the ballot, the question will need a two-thirds approval of both the House and Senate. It would not need the approval of Gov. Mark Dayton.

Should Minnesota add an amendment to its constitution recognizing the right to bear arms and use them for self defense?online survey

  • bsimon

    kinder redundant to that US Constitution, ain’t it?

  • Jimbo

    Does Rep Hackbarth count stalking potential girl friends as “recreation”?

  • Jim G

    I have hunted deer, pheasant, grouse, duck and geese. I own 4 high-powered rifles and 2 shotguns. My ownership of these weapons has never been questioned over the past 45 years I have owned them. They are locked up and ammo is stowed away. We don’t need this. It’s just propaganda and pandering to the misinformed.

  • JackU
  • Xopher

    It would be a waste of taxpayer money to go through the motions just to throw red meat into the political discussion over a redundancy.

    The right to bear arms is fairly well settled law in this country, and if people are telling you otherwise, they are more worried about fund raising than loss of liberty.

    I wager that 100 years from now, the laws regulating firearms will be fundamentally similar to what they are now.

  • GregS

    “It would be a waste of taxpayer money to go through the motions just to throw red meat into the political discussion over a redundancy.”

    Okay, that makes sense.

    So let’s get rid of all the other redundant articles in the Minnesota Constitution.




    Sec. 1. OBJECT OF GOVERNMENT. Who needs freak’n objectives?

    Sec. 2. RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES Why ban slavery in Minnesota. It’s redundant.

    Sec. 3. LIBERTY OF THE PRESS Redundant – Out!!

    Sec. 4. TRIAL BY JURY. Naw.


    Sec. 6. RIGHTS OF ACCUSED IN CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS. Let the feds take care of this

    Sec. 7. DUE PROCESS; PROSECUTIONS; DOUBLE JEOPARDY; SELF-INCRIMINATION; BAIL; HABEAS CORPUS. Habus who? I have a cousin named Habeas. He is a jerk. Besides who needs something you can hardly pronounce?

    Sec. 8. REDRESS OF INJURIES OR WRONGS. Let’s tick off the Trial Lawyers and do away with this one.

    Sec. 9. TREASON DEFINED. Hey, treason is a good thing. Ask anyone at, they’ll tell you.


    Sec. 11. ATTAINDERS, EX POST FACTO LAWS AND LAWS IMPAIRING CONTRACTS PROHIBITED. Talk to the Met Council about the WUSA line. They would love to have a word on this.

    Sec. 12. IMPRISONMENT FOR DEBT; PROPERTY EXEMPTION. VISA and Master Card come on in!

    Sec. 13. PRIVATE PROPERTY FOR PUBLIC USE. I want your house for the next Best Buy Headquarters.

    Sec. 14. MILITARY POWER SUBORDINATE. Sounds like hippie language to me.

    Sec. 15. LANDS ALLODIAL; VOID AGRICULTURAL LEASES. Let’s go back to the land system of Merry Olde England.

    Sec. 16. FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE; NO PREFERENCE TO BE GIVEN TO ANY RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENT OR MODE OF WORSHIP. You mean people have a right not to believe in Global Warming?

    Sec. 17. RELIGIOUS TESTS AND PROPERTY QUALIFICATIONS PROHIBITED. Quick, what year did Noah land on Mt. Ararat?

  • GregS

    Here is one reason why we need a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to bear arms.

    John Revel, a native of Utah legally checked his gun into the airport before a flight. When he missed his connection in New Jersey, he retrieved his baggage and stayed in a hotel for the night. The next day he was arrested for gun possession at the airport when attempting to check his baggage on the connecting flight.

    He spent 10 days in jail.

    It is not that hard to write laws that guarantee citizens a right to carry a gun while denying the same right to felons.

    It is a sad fact, but we need redundancy in the law to avoid insanity like this.

  • jfh


    Having such an amendment will bind state laws to the state constitution, and limit state laws of dubious constitutionality.

    It might even help in limiting the DFL pandering to professional victimizers.

  • Dr. Doom

    Define “arms”. In 1789, I think every firearm known to the forefathers was a single-shot muzzle loader. If Billy The Kid had showed up in Tucson with his six-shooter, how many dead would we have had? What is or should be the boundary between reasonable recreational or defensive “arms” and weapons of (relative) mass destruction.

    While you’re at it, define “citizen”. Does the term include former felons, drug or alcohol abusers, the mentally ill, the mentally or physically handicapped?

    Technology changes, peoples views change, the world changes. Once enacted, this amendment would be present huge judicial interpretation problems while being almost impossible to undo. Can’t we rely on our legislators to enact reasonable laws that can be rewritten as our society evolves?

  • GregS

    There is no doubt that the lethality of weapons has increased since the nation’s founding. Case in point, over 4,000 people were killed on 9/11 because of box-cutters. Obviously, we should ban box-cutters and scissors before taking on the less lethal assault weapons.

    As for felons and people with mental problems, you have a point. They should be banned from possessing weapons, including box-cutters and scissors – and any amendment will do that.

    But your last point is the most important, history teaches us that we cannot rely on legislatures to enact reasonable laws, especially not in a state like Minnesota where the DFL is dominated by hard-core urban leftists.

    The case in New Jersey (cited above) is an excellent illustration of what can happen without constitutional guarantees.

  • Bob Collins

    Can we please retire the tired old rhetoric on both sides of this issue. We’ve all heard this before.

    Everyone say something new.

  • mindtron

    personally I don’t really see how we need this amendment, but most of all I don’t see how this kind of stuff is more important than figuring out a budget and how we are going to create jobs.

    If this is truly important can we please debate it later in the session?

  • jfh

    I said something new, Bob. Take another look at my previous comment.

    Binding state law to an RKBA amendment would limit the flak from the urban left and possibly limit the flak for further law from the right..

    Would you rather I comment on the quality of bleater thinking?