ST. PAUL, Minn. (KVRR) — The Clay County Sheriff has issues with House File 396 which would require all firearms to be stored away from ammunition. “Your firearm will need to be stored somewhere that is unloaded with a locking device on it. The ammunition will have to be stored somewhere else. You can’t call a timeout in the middle…
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KVRR) — The Clay County Sheriff has issues with House File 396 which would require all firearms to be stored away from ammunition.
“Your firearm will need to be stored somewhere that is unloaded with a locking device on it. The ammunition will have to be stored somewhere else. You can’t call a timeout in the middle of what’s going on to go to one place to get your firearm and go to another place to get your ammunition. It is problematic in that way,” Clay County Sheriff Mark Empting said.
Empting says there already is a law in place pertaining to negligent firearm storage and believes the bill seems reactionary. This bill would repeal that law and replace it with more details.
Bill supporters say more lives will be protected as unsafe firearm and ammunition storage can lead to tragic outcomes.
“This only applies when the gun is not under your control. If the gun is otherwise under your control, this doesn’t apply to you. This is more like leaving a loaded weapon in your house while you’re not there. If you’ve taken your concealed carry class and you’re following all the things they told you to do. If you are locking up your firearms when you’re not home, you’re not going to have to change any of your behaviors,” DFL State Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn of Roseville said.
Empting wrote a letter to Republican State Representative Jim Joy of Hawley opposing restrictions on responsible gun owners. He also says it can be a problem for people living in rural areas.
“The folks out in those areas, they’re teaching their kids safe handling and safe storage of firearms already. This law has potential to take and make our responsible law-abiding citizens criminals. Let’s not do that. We already have a law in the books. Let’s look at that one,” Empting said.
Becker-Finn says she’s open to suggestions for amending it.
“If we need clarity around it, then we’ll add clarity. That’s the committee process. That’s how the legislative process is supposed to work,” Becker-Finn said.
Becker-Finn says she has not yet heard from State Representative Joy about law enforcement’s concerns. Empting says Joy reached out to him last week and plans to speak up at the next legislative hearing about it.