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2A Activists Lobbying and Litigating in Minnesota and Maine

It’s another two-fer on today’s Bearing Arms Cam & Co! Rob Doar of the MN Gun Owners Caucus and David Trahan of the Sportsmans Alliance of Maine join the show with updates on the efforts to defeat gun control bills in Minnesota, as well as a court challenge to Maine’s impending 72-hour waiting period on gun sales. 

There are 11 days left in the Minnesota legislative session, and the good news is that many of the anti-gun bills being pushed by groups like Everytown and Brady have met their defeat in committee. Doar says that bills banning so-called assault weapons, requiring gun owners purchase liability insurance, imposing gun licensing, and creating a host of new “gun-free zones” have all failed to find traction this session. 

The bad news is that there still three bad bills that have cleared the House, including a ban on binary triggers that’s up for a vote in the full Senate later today. Legislation requiring the reporting of lost or stolen firearms and a bill imposing storage mandates on gun owners are awaiting action in the Senate as well.

The Democat-Farmer-Labor Party holds a one-seat majority in the Senate, which means the votes on these gun control measures could come down to Sen. Nicole Mitchell, who’s facing felony burglary charges after police discovered her in her stepmother’s home a few weeks ago. While the DFL has barred Mitchell from caucus meetings and serving on committees for the remainder of the session they’re still allowing her to vote on bills when they come to the floor, and on Wednesday they decided to delay an ethics investigation into Mitchell’s actions until after her next court date; which will conveniently take place after the session has gaveled to a close. 

“Sen. Nicole Mitchell’s actions are a clear violation of Senate rules and leave the Minnesota Senate under a cloud of distrust,” Republican Sen. Eric Lucero, of St. Michael, told the ethics panel.
“This was a planned and deliberate action, not a decision made on a whim,” said Republican Sen Karin Housley, of Stillwater.
But Democratic Sen. Bobby Joe Champion, of Minneapolis, who chairs the panel, told his colleagues that the prudent thing to do was to wait until the evidence could be tested for accuracy.

Look, she was caught in the basement of her stepmother’s home. Mitchell’s statement to police and her statement to the public don’t match up, with the police report indicating she essentially admitted to breaking into the home in order to get some of her late father’s belongings that her stepmother wouldn’t give her. In a Facebook post, however, Mitchell claimed that she drove several hours in the middle of the night to check on her stepmother, because she was concerned about her health. 

Mitchell is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, but I’d say her arrest and the allegations she’s facing, as well as how she’s responded, have given senators more than enough evidence to conduct an ethics investigation. If the DFL had a two or three seat majority, she probably would be subject to an investigation right now, but with her position as the deciding vote, party leaders just aren’t going to let that happen. 

In Maine, meanwhile, the lobbying is over, but the litigation is about to commence. SAM’s David Trahan says the 2A group is putting together a coalition of other Second Amendment organizations, businesses, and individuals who will soon be launching a lawsuit taking on the new 72-hour waiting period on gun sales, which Trahan expects to take effect in late July or early August. 

As Trahan told Bearing Arms, the mandated delays are going to crush gun shows in Maine, but they’re also going to put the public at risk. Trahan reminded me that after the killer in Lewiston carried out his attack last fall, authorities spent two days looking for him before discovering his body near a recycling center in Lisbon, Maine. As you can imagine, there were plenty of Mainers who drove to their nearest gun store to buy a firearm for personal protection with a madman on the loose, but if the state’s 72-hour waiting period had been in effect they would have been unable to take possession of their newly-purchased gun for three business days. 

The Sportsmans Alliance of Maine has set up an online portal if you want to donate or contribute to the legal fund that will help to cover the cost of the lawsuit, and if you can kick in a few bucks I know it would be appreciated. Litigation isn’t cheap or easy, but unfortunately its necessary to preserve the 2A rights of Maine residents… as well as to send a message to the gun control lobby that Second Amendment supporters are standing together in defense of our rights. 

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