Gov. Tim Walz’s (D-MN) budget proposal calls for a one-time payment of $350,000 and $200,000 each year thereafter to implement gun control measures that are currently being considered by the Minnesota Legislature.
As The Minnesota Sun reported Friday, both a “red flag” bill and a universal background checks bill cleared the House Public Safety Committee this week. By including these proposals in his budget, however, Walz can sidestep the legislative process and secure gun control in the state through the passage of his budget.
Buried in his proposal for the Department of Public Safety is a request for funds “totaling $350,000 in the FY20 and $200,000 each year ongoing for measures to prevent gun violence.”
“The funding included in the budget provides resources to implement two proposals currently introduced in the legislature. First, the governor recommends a proposal to create a new requirement for background checks when private parties transfer any firearm. With the exception of immediate family members, private parties must obtain a transferee permit and all transfers will be subject to a background check,” Walz’s proposal states.
It notes that an initial amount of $188,000 and an annual amount of $38,000 would be used “to modify and maintain the Gun Permit Background Check system.”
It goes on to state that the requested funding would be used to “support a proposal that creates an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) process in statute.”
As Walz’s proposal explains, ERPOs (often called “red flag” laws) allow “a family member, household member, a guardian, a law enforcement agency, or city or county attorney to petition a court to have an individual’s firearms withheld for a fixed period.”
“To obtain the order, the court must agree that the individual poses a significant danger of bodily injury to themselves or other persons,” the proposal continues.
State Sen. Jeff Howe (R-Rockville) responded to Walz’s inclusion of gun-control measures in his budget proposal in a video Saturday.
— Minnesota Senate Republicans (@mnsrc) March 2, 2019
“Did you see Gov. Walz’s budget? Did you look at the fine print? He trying to sneak in gun registration into our budget. And he didn’t talk about the red flag law that he’s also got in our budget,” Howe said. “These are policy issues that should be discussed in legislation, but he’s sneaking it into the budget, and trying to slide it in as part of the budget and make us fund it.”
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