In a video statement honoring National Police Week, President Biden appears to pay lip service to law enforcement while pushing for gun control, contradicting his stance on defunding the police. Meanwhile, Democratic senators in Minnesota, despite a slim majority, have successfully passed far-reaching gun control legislation in an attempt to restrict firearms from individuals in crisis and criminals.
The public safety and judiciary finance and policy agreement, passed by a narrow margin of 69-63, includes the controversial “red flag law.” This provision allows authorities to petition courts for “extreme risk protection orders,” temporarily confiscating guns from those deemed a potential threat to themselves or others. Democratic Sen. Rob Latz, the chairman of the Senate public safety committee, emphasizes the aim of providing families and law enforcement with tools to address individuals in crisis, potentially separating them from accessible firearms.
Opponents argue that the red flag law, along with the expanded background checks for gun transfers included in the broader public safety budget bill, infringes upon due process rights and the Second Amendment of the Constitution. The extended background check requirement encompasses private transfers of pistols and “semi-automatic military-style assault weapons,” with exceptions for family and law enforcement transactions.
Governor Tim Waltz, a gun-owner, veteran, and father, is expected to sign the bill into law. On Twitter, he expressed his support, claiming that basic gun safety measures do not threaten the Second Amendment but rather fulfill our responsibility to protect our children. Once the bill reaches his desk, he intends to sign the red flag law and background checks, further solidifying his commitment to gun control in Minnesota.
While the proponents argue that these measures promote public safety, critics contend that they undermine individual liberties and fail to address the underlying causes of violence. The debate continues as conservatives raise concerns about due process violations and the potential infringement on Second Amendment rights in the name of security.