Rep. Brian Johnson
Many of you have contacted me about your thoughts on gun control legislation under consideration in St. Paul and I appreciate it. I sit on the House Public Safety Committee and last week we heard these proposals for over 20 hours over the course of three days. I understand many people have very passionate views on gun violence prevention and I am open to listening to all view points on these issues.
Unfortunately, I do not feel our state laws are in need of drastic change when it comes to firearm regulations.
The bills we heard include legislation requiring background checks for gun shows and private sales; limiting gun permit access for some Minnesotans; and a ban on “assault weapons.” House Democrats need to explain why limiting our Second Amendment rights is a higher priority for them than enacting a state budget or expanding our economy. The fact is, bills sponsored by Democrats in Minnesota are even more restricting than what the President wants to pass. This would do nothing to keep certain firearms out of the hands of wrong-doers. Criminals are criminals. These new laws would disarm the good, law-abiding citizens.
One testifier explained how these new gun laws could outlaw certain firearms just based on cosmetic appearance. The legislature will continue to examine these issues over the next few weeks and I will continue to update you on our progress.
State of the State
Dozens of business owners from throughout the state were special guests of House Republican members as Gov. Mark Dayton delivered his State of the Speech address.
The business owners participated in a very productive roundtable discussion with House members prior to Dayton’s speech. They shared a wide variety of thoughts and concerns regarding Minnesota’s business climate. I was proud to bring Mark Netzinger, local physical therapist, and an important job creator for our area.
The governor started his speech by highlighting many of the good things which have transpired over the last two years, but was light on new, innovative initiatives for the future.
He first took credit for the improvements Republican-led policies brought to Minnesota the last two years. We have gained 72,000 jobs in that span, our state’s bottom line is in better shape and the 2011 K-12 shift is fully paid off.
Bills moving forward
I’ve authored HF228 which increases penalties for wildfire arson after being contacted by law enforcement and county attorneys in our area. The bill would also make sure arsonists help pay the costs that local law enforcement are undertaking in order to fight large wildfires. Additionally, I’ve signed on to legislation that protects private data collected by license plate readers from misuse (HF488).