Legislature advances bill to legalize silencers

Three gun-related bills are going before the Minnesota House committee on public safety Thursday in what Rep. Tony Cornish has dubbed "One Day Gun Day." Cornish (R-Vernon Center) said he's prepared to hear testimony until midnight.

The bills

HF372: Would allow anyone with a Minnesota permit to carry to bring their firearms to the Capitol complex without giving prior notice to the commissioner of public safety. This springs from last session's gun bill hearings at the Capitol, where many Second Amendment supporters brought their firearms to the Capitol.

Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance President Andrew Rothman argues that permit to carry owners already have had background checks and screening, and that the current law is redundant.

HF830: A change in the law's language would allow federally-licensed gun dealers in Minnesota to sell firearms to people in any other state. It also modifies state law to allow citizens to buy firearms in any other state. Current state law only allows the firearms sales in border states to Minnesota. These changes would bring Minnesota statutes in line with the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968.

HF1434: Would legalizes the use of silencers, called "suppressors" in the legislation.  

GOCRA's Rothman told lawmakers that suppressors still make the firearm 8 times louder than a jackhammer. A suppressor works like a car muffler, using baffles to slow down the escaping gases. Supporters are framing the debate in terms of health and safety, as a way to prevent hearing loss.

Rothman said legalizing gun suppressors will not create a rash of "ninja shootings" and that anyone wanting to purchase a suppressor must go through a series of federal checks. Rep. Tony Cornish said suppressors should not interfere with police "shot spotters" as long as the sound profile is entered in the scanner database.

Full house for testimony

A packed room for Thursday's testimony includes Second Amendment supporters, 4 state troopers and 9 uniformed police officers.

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