It looks like some rare good news is making it’s way through Minnesota’s legislature. Apparently the Republicans want to earn their keep here right away and have proposed legislation to eliminate Minnesota’s permit to purchase law.
For those of you not familiar with Minnesota’s permit to purchase system it goes something like this. If you want to purchase a handgun or an “assault weapon” you need to either have a permit to carry or obtain a permit to purchase. A permit to purchase is a piece of paper you obtain from your local police headquarters. When you want to purchase a handgun or an “assault weapon” you need to go to your local police station and apply for a permit to purchase. After turning in your application there is a seven day waiting period while the police pretend to run more than a National Criminal Instant Background Check System (NICS) check on you. After seven days you return to the police station and they hand you a piece of paper that says it’s OK for you to have more than a shotgun or “hunting rifle” (unless you’re a prohibited person of course). Of course the permit is only good for a year after which you have to repeat this entire process.
This system is a huge pain in the ass and has needed the boot for a long time. Why does it need the boot? Well because you can’t get these permits outside of weekdays during normal business hours. I’m going to use a little example here to explain the problem with such a system. I have a friend who is unable to drive and works full time. This person is also a strong supporter of the right to keep and bear arms. In order for this person to purchase a handgun or an “assault weapon” a trip to the police station is required. This is quite the pain in the ass when you can’t drive and work during the same hours the police station is open. How does such a person obtain a permit? Well it usually involves having somebody else give them a ride which results in two people having to take time off of work, twice (the permit has to be picked up a week later as they won’t mail it to your home).
Although the story in the Red Star I liked to has people who claim the system prevents violence such claims haven’t been demonstrated in any way. The police are also against repealing the law:
The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association and the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association both testified against the bill, saying it could strip them of their ability to do proper backgrounding.
Of course this has nothing to do with background checks, one is performed every time you purchase a firearm through the FBI’s NICS system. The police don’t want this repealed because it takes away something they desire, power over the peasantry. Some common sense did come out of the debates:
At one point, as legislators debated the recent Arizona shootings that left six people dead and U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords severely wounded, Cornish said that the “bald-headed goon” arrested for the shootings probably would not have been stopped from buying a gun under the Minnesota law.
Exactly. The Minnesota system wouldn’t have helped catch that asshole. The seven day waiting period can’t detect crazy any better than other background check systems (which is to day background checks don’t detect crazy). I’m glad to see the new legislature is moving to repeal this worthless law. The law (which I’m not sure of the name of so can’t look it up, thanks Red Star) made it out of committee and will be moving through our legislature.
I hope to see more restrictions against our right to keep and bear arms repealed. Heck get rid of the Minnesota prohibition against suppressors and allow us to purchase machine guns with the requirement they be on the curio and relic list and I’ll most likely work to reelect you guys.