Lawmakers pass one gun control measure, another misfires in Senate

One new gun control measure passed the Minnesota Senate on Thursday, and another is crumbling even after passing in the House.

Sen. Grant Hauschild (DFL-Hermantown), says he’d vote against the safe storage bill passed in the House this week, so it’s unlikely to move.

But increasing punishments on straw purchases and binary triggers passed along party lines on Thursday afternoon.

"It eliminates a tool that makes it easier to kill people," said Sen. Heather Gustafson (DFL-Vadnais Heights), who authored the Senate bill. "It also makes sure that guns stay out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them."

Her bill combined a popular punishment increase for people buying guns for someone who’s not allowed to have them with what Republicans called a poison pill, a ban on devices that let you fire more than one bullet per trigger pull.

People who have these binary triggers will need to get rid of them by next year.

"There are elements in this bill that are good," said Sen. Warren Limmer, (R-Maple Grove). "But confiscation of guns is not the solution, especially when criminals don't follow the law. And that provision will only be targeted on law abiding citizens."

Republicans said the ban will make legal gun owners less safe, and they called it unconstitutional, which Sen. Gustafson denied.

"10 other states ban binary triggers, including Florida and Idaho," she said. "This does not infringe on the Second Amendment right to bear arms."

The shooter in Burnsville who killed three first responders in February used binary triggers on straw purchased firearms.

But that argument didn’t sway a single Republican.

"This isn’t a solution," said Sen. Steve Drazkowski, (R-Mazeppa). "This is actually making the situation worse."

This bill has already passed in the House, but because of an amendment and some different language in the Senate bill, there’s still some work to do on the bill before it gets to the governor for signature.