I invite local citizens to participate in a survey I am conducting to gather input on everything from the state budget to gun laws. Visit www.house.mn/9a to access it.
It is amazing how many emails I recently have received from citizens concerned about House proposals that would restrict gun rights. More people are contacting me about this subject than any other so far this session. The vast majority of emailers are urging me to protect their Second Amendment rights.
Our legislative office building was packed with people delivering the same message recently during three days of gun-related legislative hearings. This is a grassroots effort led by people who do not want the new majority to infringe on our constitutional rights. I spent time meeting with some of the citizens who were gathered and came away impressed with the courteous, respectful dialogue.
Citizen input on this issue is greatly appreciated, but it is concerning the new majority would focus on limiting our Second Amendment rights instead of working to enact a new state budget, help people get back to work and grow our economy.
There are a few people on the pro-restriction side of the gun discussion who seem to think the National Rifle Association (NRA) is a major player on this issue, but that simply is not the case. I have not met with NRA officials or received any contributions from the group. In fact, the NRA has contributed relatively little to legislative campaigns in Minnesota.
Here is some interesting perspective from a Star Tribune article printed Feb. 4: Between 2008 and 2012, the NRA spent just $5,240 on Minnesota legislative races. In 2012, the liberal group Alliance for a Better Minnesota spent $144,365 to defeat a single legislative candidate in Edina.
As for the proposed gun laws, I encourage citizens to visit www.house.mn to read the text of H.F. 241 and H.F. 242 to see some of what the new majority is proposing. We all want to keep guns out of the wrong hands, but it cannot come at the expense of restricting gun ownership for law-abiding Minnesotans. The last thing we should want is to strip guns from the good folks. People in parts of the state like ours have a deep respect for the Second Amendment and I will continue working to uphold it.
More gun-related bills are being introduced in the House and more details of a full package of bills will be available in upcoming weeks. Until then, please continue to exercise your voice for freedom and let the gun-restriction authors know their proposals to encroach on our rights are unacceptable.
And, again, please participate in my legislative survey. I will share the results later this session. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a paper version.
(State Rep. Mark Anderson, R-Lake Shore, represents House District 9A, which includes East Gull Lake, Lake Shore and Fairview, Home Brook, Loon Lake, Wilson, Walden and Bungo townships in Cass County, as well as parts of Wadena and Todd counties.)