Minnesota Hunters' Minor Inconveniance Repeal Act of 2009
We've got a problem, and it's time to make some targeted phone calls.
Lots of them, preferably. So, please, get out your phones, and let me back up for a moment.
Representatives David Dill and Tony Cornish had a good idea, all in all. Right now, state law requires that when a firearm (long guns for some, handguns for handgun hunters) is being transported in a boat or motor vehicle -- say, when you're getting a ride out to the deer stand on an ATV, or taking a boat ride out to the duck blind -- that the gun be unloaded and encased.
Which is kind of silly. It's not a big deal, but there's no particular reason that the gun couldn't just be unloaded, and put on a rack on the back of the ATV, or in the back seat of the car or the back of the boat, and Representative David Dill put in a bill, HF128, to accomplish that.
A minor improvement. Let's call it the Hunter's Minor Inconvenience Repeal Act of 2009.
But, as the legislative process went on, some problems developed. Some clever anti-gun folks in the legislature saw it as an opportunity to get something that they've desperately wanted, but have been denied by gun-rights activists for more than a quarter century: a wedge into the concept of statewide gun preemption that requires that gun owners all over the state be treated identically, no matter what zip code they live in.
After all, rights don't have zip codes. People do. They don't like that.
So, they cleverly inserted language into HF 1238, a pending Fish and Game bill, that does some pretty awful things -- for the first time, it makes the seven-county Metro area different from the rest of the state, gives it more stringent gun laws than the rest of the state, and makes metro gun owners into second-class gun owners, by denying them the mild privileges of the Hunter's Minor Inconvenience Repeal Act of 2009.
It does a bunch of other things, too, none of them good. There's more details here.
It needs to be stopped. We will, eventually, be able to get the Hunters' Minor Inconvenience Repeal Act passed -- but when we do, it needs to be done for all Minnesota gun owners, not leaving those in the metro as second-class citizens.
Please do the following four things today.
1. Call your own representative in the legislature (e-mail them too) -- you'll find his or her name and contact information here if you don't know it -- and ask him or her to "oppose the Hunter's Minor Inconvenience Repeal Act of 2009 in HF 1238." If they don't know what that's all about, tell them some call it Rep. Dill's "uncased/unloaded bill" and point them here.
2. Call the office of Representative David Dill at 651-296-2190 and ask him to withdraw the the Hunter's Minor Inconvenience Repeal Act of 2009 in HF 1238, because metro-area Minnesotans should not be second-class citizens; rights don't have zip codes. People do. It's likely that you'll get the answering machine when you call, what with the legislators having already gone home for a long weekend. That's okay -- be firm but polite, and let Representative Dill come back to work with your message pending.
3. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and ask him to withdraw the the Hunter's Minor Inconvenience Repeal Act of 2009 in HF 1238, because metro-area Minnesotans should not be second-class citizens; rights don't have zip codes. People do.
4. Pass this email on to at least two friends, and ask them to do the same.
It's important. One Twin Cities Carry Forum member put it this way, and he's right:
A good way to think about this bill, might be to imagine how the new"gun case law" would be explained in the Hunting Regulations, and Firearns Safety Training.
The regs would explain and define the "Seven County Metro" area as a special area. Probably, there would be a map showing the precise boundaries of the "Metro Gun Transport Zone" along with a description of the boundaries. Minnesota gun owners would learn the concept of gun laws being different in the Metro vs "Greater Minnesota".
The law would, naturally enough, have to be covered in Firearms Training, so youngsters would be taught that the Metro Gun Transport Zone is "special". The instructers would, of course, have to justify the rule; imagine the discussion in these classes. Firearms Safety Instructors would be teaching the benefits of gun control laws.
Next session Duluth and Rochester will want to be special as well.
The session after that, every hamlet will want to decide for themselves whether or not they are "special". And it won't be limited to gun transport, they'll be special in other ways as well.
We've got to hang together.