Marc Olivier, a Roseville resident and a self-described advocate for "the human right of self-defense," sent the following letter to state District 66A Rep. Alice Hausman, chief sponsor of two gun control bills, and District 64B Rep. Michael Paymar (DFL), chairman of the Public Safety Committee. Paymar's committee held hearings earlier this month on Hausman's gun control bills. Hausman's district includes part of Roseville.
Dear Reps. Hausman and Paymar:
I am writing to you to request that you take immediate steps to remove the aforementioned bills (HF 0241 and HF 034) from consideration for entry into an Omnibus bill concerning gun control.
The bills are poorly constructed; they were not introduced according to established House procedures; they risk becoming unfunded mandates if passed into law; they create a whole new class of criminals of heretofore law-abiding Minnesotans, while doing nothing to promote safety and take violent criminals off the streets. They are wrong for Minnesota in many ways. They should be withdrawn immediately.
First, a complete reading of the bill, which was not done in Committee for the benefit of the public, reveals misleading terms and labels, vague procedures, and no provision for how the procedures are to be paid.
A review of procedures on the Minnesota State Legislature website indicates procedures were not followed as far as presentation of either bill. Rep. Hausman, you "set the stage" for HF0241, but left the bulk of the discussion of the bill and proponents for the bill in the hands of a lobbyist. You were not present at all for HF0242.
Regarding lobbyist, Heather Martens of Protect Minnesota; she is not a member of the Minnesota Legislature, she has not run for office, she did not receive any votes, and she was not elected to any legislative office.
She and other proponents, appear to have relied on outdated statistics dating back to the period of time immediately before and immediately after the implementation of the federal Brady Bill (February 1994), concerning guns obtained from gun shows here in this State. She openly contradicted herself while introducing HF0242, when asked a question by Rep. Tony Cornish.
She makes frequent references to polls, but did not cite any particular one, so it would be difficult to analyze results of any specific poll, (for example, if there was reliable sampling methods used; if questions were asked in an open-ended manner, rather than presented or worded with bias to achieve a desired result).
Ms. Martens was asked for statistics on the number of firearms obtained at gun shows, through "straw purchases", which were later used to commit crimes; she was unable to provide any such statistics, and neither were law enforcement officials who she claims as proponents of the bills.
Ms. Martens and her proponents often repeated their contention that there is no legitimate need for semi-automatic rifles or firearms with so-called "large-capacity" magazines (which includes standard-manufacture magazines that include 10+ rounds) or drums by the general public for hunting or self-defense.
None of her proponents acknowledge the existence of assaults and attacks by multiple perpetrators, although such statistics are available from multiple, official online sources. None of her proponents acknowledged a multitude of recent news stories from across the country of residents having to resort to firing multiple rounds to repel criminals invading their homes.
Expert witnesses (such as Professor Howard Vogel) citing opinions from the U.S. Supreme Court presented incomplete opinions, and omitted information from their own handpicked source that ran counter to their positions (Martens, et. al. edited Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's opinion on the Heller case, to suit their position, when the full text of his opinion made it clear he sided the position espoused by gun rights advocates.
Further, they brought in the opinion of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's opinion on the McDonald v Chicago case, while testimony supporting gun rights advocates from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was completely omitted). Heather Martens' testimony cannot be trusted, and much of the information and testimony her proponents brought to the hearings is either outdated or incomplete, but in any case, unreliable.
In a state (and for a party) which prides itself on its diversity, I find leaving out information relevant to a broad cross-section of Minnesota's population, because it conflicts with a questionable agenda, particularly disturbing. Bills presented with these kinds of flaws, like HF0241 and HF0242, are wrong for the citizens of Minnesota, and should be withdrawn.
My specific concerns with these bills are that they violate the following: The *entire* 2nd Amendment; the 4th Amendment, which guarantees against unreasonable searches and seizure (your bills call for law enforcement to inspect persons houses without benefit of a warrant or other due process); the 5th Amendment (your bills call for seizure of property without benefit of a warrant or other due process); the 6th Amendment (thanks to efforts to criminalize guns and gun owners, an impartial jury may be impossible to find should any matter proceed to court); and the 8th (excessive fines), 9th (the right to self-defense being abridged by these bills), 10th (assuming rights of the State not granted under either the state or national Constitutions) and 14th (Section 1.3) Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
These and other bills heard in Committee call for Universal Background Checks and Universal Gun Registration. History has many examples where these steps were taken by those who went on to Universal Gun Confiscation, and then on to outright, brutal tyranny.
There are many examples of tyrants in recent history posing with children in their propaganda (Mao, Stalin and Hitler all used this technique, as did Pol Pot of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia). These bills also violate the prohibitions against "bills of attainder" found in both the U.S. Constitution and the State of Minnesota Constitution. They unfairly singles out citizens who have chosen tools for self-defense sufficient to meet the kinds of threats they may face in their everyday lives (keeping in mind criminal attacks, and even life-threatening attacks by animals, don't keep to any set parameters or schedule).
Rep. Paymar, you stated you would be "laying the bills over" for consideration as part of an Omnibus bill. I did not hear a file number for such Omnibus bill, nor a date as to when this would heard by any legislative body, nor a date where input from the public would be solicited on an Omnibus bill.
There is nothing about a gun control Omnibus bill on the Minnesota State Legislature webpage. Further, I did not hear words to the effect that either bill was "approved" or "disapproved"; and no amendments were made, or even allowed, during last week's hearings.
Rep. Paymar, proper procedures were not followed, supporting information is unreliable. These bills are wrong for Minnesota in many ways. If you insist on carrying these bills forward into an Omnibus bill, I request the bill number, the date for public hearing on this Omnibus bill, and the names of the committee members who will be hearing this bill.
Proof of my claims regarding the above points are available on Youtube.com (see videos of Minnesota Legislature under the bills mentioned), as well as *current* (and more recent statistics), also online, many from official government sources. These bills need to be withdrawn now.
As I have not received responses from either of you regarding my concerns stated in previous communications, I am passing this communication on to various media formats, in hopes of generating awareness by a larger audience as to what is happening concerning these bills.
Lifelong Minnesota resident, law-abiding citizen, contributor to multiple charities, voter, advocate for the human right self-defense, blogger and social media contributor.