Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Will Minnesotans Support the Firearms Freedom Act?

Bookmark and Share

Minnesota Republican State Representative Tom Emmer (19B-Delano) introduced legislation in the House on Thursday that seeks to restrict the reach of federal firearms laws by exempting Minnesota-made firearms and ammunition that remain in the state from federal laws and regulations, including registration.

In a statement released by the House GOP Caucus Communications Office, Emmer said:

“The federal government shouldn’t be keeping track of citizens that are lawfully exercising their Second Amendment rights. Now, more than ever, citizens need be vigilant when it comes to protecting their individual liberties.

While it is not clear from Rep. Emmer’s statement as to why he believes citizens need to be protecting their 2nd Amendment liberties “now, more than ever,” it is true that a large percentage of Minnesotans own guns – 1 in 2, in fact, according to several public opinion polls conducted over the past three years.

A Smart Politics analysis of 21 SurveyUSA polls conducted from October 2006 through February 2009 finds approximately 49 percent of Minnesota adults own at least one firearm. That number is about on par with the gun ownership rate in the neighboring states of Iowa (47 percent) and Wisconsin (50 percent).

Emmer’s legislation would eliminate the requirement to register any personal firearms and ammunition manufactured and remaining in the Gopher State. Gun control advocates maintain strict registration requirements are one element in an ongoing effort to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and people safe from gun violence. Those opposing stricter firearms laws maintain such legislation has the net effect of insuring only criminals have guns, leaving residents more vulnerable to violent firearm attacks.

Minnesotans have been historically divided over the general need to make gun control laws more strict in the state, although a much larger percentage of residents seem to be in favor of tightening the laws as opposed to loosening them (a substantial percentage of residents believe the laws are fine just as they are).

For example, a July 2004 Humphrey Institute poll found 44 percent of Gopher State residents wanted gun control laws to be more strict, with 44 percent wanting them kept as is, and 10 percent wanting them less strict. Similar result were measured in July 2004 Humphrey Institute polls of Iowans (41 percent more strict, 41 percent the same, 14 percent less strict), and Wisconsinites (39 percent more strict, 48 percent the same, 10 percent less strict).

Back in September 2003, Star Tribune polling found a majority of Minnesotans believed proposed handgun carry permits would make the state a more dangerous place to live (51 percent), with just 11 percent believing it would make the state safer.

The truth is, however, that the Upper Midwest has some of the lowest gun homicide rates in the country. According to a Smart Politics analysis of 2005 Bureau of Justice statistics, Minnesota has the the 14th lowest such per capita rate, at just 1.43 gun homicides per 100,000 residents. Minnesota’s rate is lower than that of Wisconsin (#20, 2.38 gun homicides), but higher than North Dakota (#1, 0.16 homicides), Iowa (#6, 0.71 homicides), and South Dakota (#9, 0.99 homicides).

Lowest Per Capita Gun Homicide Rates by State, 2005

Rank
State
Rate per 100,000 residents
1
North Dakota
0.16
2
Hawaii
0.19
3
New Hampshire
0.52
4
Maine
0.53
5
Montana
0.57
6
Iowa
0.71
7
Vermont
0.81
8
Nebraska
0.97
9
South Dakota
0.99
10
Utah
1.10
11
Oregon
1.34
12
Wyoming
1.38
13
Connecticut
1.41
14
Minnesota
1.43
15
Massachusetts
1.50
15
Rhode Island
1.50
17
Idaho
1.66
18
Washington
2.02
19
Kansas
2.03
20
Colorado
2.38
20
Wisconsin
2.38
22
West Virginia
2.47
23
New York
2.60
24
Delaware
2.74
25
Alaska
2.84
26
Ohio
2.93
27
Florida*
3.09
28
New Jersey
3.19
29
Kentucky
3.20
30
Oklahoma
3.66
31
New Mexico
3.71
32
Indiana
4.11
33
Texas
4.14
34
Michigan
4.19
35
North Carolina
4.21
36
Virginia
4.25
37
Pennsylvania
4.40
38
Georgia
4.45
39
Illinois
4.56
40
Arkansas
4.59
41
Missouri
4.87
42
Tennessee
5.09
43
Mississippi
5.14
43
South Carolina
5.14
45
California
5.15
46
Nevada
5.16
47
Alabama
5.64
48
Arizona
5.68
49
Maryland
7.51
50
Louisiana
7.75
Note: Data compiled by Smart Politics from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, and U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Population Estimate for July 1, 2005. Florida gun homicide rate based on 2004 homicide data.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: How Many Senators Will Vote for the Next Supreme Court Nominee?
Next post: Pawlenty Delivers on Veto Pledge; Override Season Opens

5 Comments


  • Er... Kinda points out "more guns, less crime" as a truism then.

    I like Rep. Emmer's bill. It could bring more industry to MN and we need that BADLY after chasing out larger companies like 3M with our idiotic tax schemes.

  • Um, has anyone pointed out to Rep. Emmer that his grandstanding bill would likely increase regulatory costs and record-keeping requirements for sellers? At least criminals could buy Minnesota-made guns and ammo and help the economy.

  • No matter what the bill says, it is really about state's rights. It is about enforcing the United States Constitution, about limiting the Federal Government to the role that the Constitution grants it. It is to protect each American citizen's liberties as established in the Constitution.

  • Bill, You couldn't be more right. It's not so much about gun owners. There are already gun owners in Minnesota. The difference is that as a gun owner you would be regulated under state law instead of federal regulation. But it doesn't end here. It would encompass virtually all federal regulation and law from abortion issues to gay rights and on and on. Instead of the fed regulating us we would be regulated locally under state regulation. Let's face it, fed is getting to out of touch with us, but state regulation brings it home and a bit more personal. Don't you feel like your voice is louder in St. Paul rather than D.C.? This is a huge step in reducing the size and scope and power of the federal government. We need to rally around this movement and follow this through. This is a great opportunity for us to bring government back to the people. Stay informed and educate your friends.

  • I think the main point of this bill is to effectively void any future assault weapons ban.

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

    Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

    Political Crumbs

    Six for Thirteen

    Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


    Seeing Red

    Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting