EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (KMSP) - As more states look into passing "red flag" laws that allow law enforcement to confiscate guns from individuals they have deemed a danger to themselves or others, U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minnesota, is attempting to clear the way with federal funding or incentives to implement such measures.
The move represents a rebuke of party orthodoxy for the Republican from Eden Prairie, who has an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association and in the past has earned the endorsement of many local gun rights activists.
"Some of us who passionately believe you’re elected to legislate, you’re elected to get things done, we want to bring all sides together," Paulsen said. "It’s a challenging environment, it’s highly partisan charged on the left and right but this is one of those things that's commonsense."
The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus is one of the organizations pushing back against Paulsen's bill, claiming red flag laws wouldn't help solve the issue and even represent a violation of citizens' rights.
"We believe that’s a huge issue from a due process standard, to have somebody’s property seized from them without their day in court," said Rob Doar, who works for the organization. "And just taking away one of the tools that is available for them to inflict mass harm isn’t going to stop the problem."
Red flag legislation has been proposed several times in Minnesota--including during this session--but with a Republican controlled Legislature there has been no movement on any gun control legislation.