Gun control measures headed to MN governor’s desk

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 4:11 AM CDT
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (Valley News Live) - After several hours of debate, two gun control measures on now headed to MN Gov. Tim Walz’s desk.

More than eight hours of debate passed on Monday, May 16 and into early the following Tuesday before House members voted 69 to 63 in favor of SF2909. The Senate passed the same bill in a previous 34 to 33 vote.

According to a House report, the bill outlines universal background checks for handgun sales and puts in place new ‘red flag’ laws. The ‘red flag’ laws allows family and others to petition a court to have guns removed from a person’s possession if they’re found to be a significant danger to themselves or others.

Several criminal justice reform measures are also included in the bill including helping offenders re-integrate into society and increasing crime prevention efforts, according to a review of the bill by a non-partisan House report.

The report also lists the several items below as included in the newly passed bill:

  • expanding the right for a free public defender to cases where a person appeals a district court’s decision on a child protection case;
  • simplifying how victims of identity theft or mistaken identity can expunge court records to clear their names;
  • prohibiting peace officers from joining or supporting hate or extremist groups;
  • requiring places of public accommodation to provide closed-captioned television when a television is available;
  • allowing lawsuits seeking damages to continue after the person suing has died;
  • creating a carjacking crime and establishing penalties;
  • prohibiting law enforcement agencies from retaliating against, or penalizing a peace officer who intercedes against or reports another officer or employee use of excessive force;
  • creating a crime of organized retail theft;
  • prohibiting the state and counties from using private prisons;
  • restricting strip searches of detained juveniles;
  • establishing a supervised release board to review the cases of minors sentenced to mandatory life in prison;
  • establishing the Office of Missing and Murdered Black Women and Girls;
  • expanding the crime of an assault motivated by bias to include bias against a person due to the person’s gender, gender identity, or gender expression;
  • changing the first-degree possession offense to equate the possession of fentanyl with the possession of heroin;
  • requiring the state, instead of counties, to pay for medical examination costs for criminal sexual conduct victims;
  • requiring carbon monoxide alarms in hotel rooms;
  • granting early conditional release to inmates who make sufficient progress toward rehabilitation; and
  • establishing a Clemency Review Commission and modifying Board of Pardons’ operations.