The Free Press, Mankato, MN

February 15, 2013

You View: Testimony for House File 241 was shameful

Randy Kruckeberg, Mankato
The Free Press

MANKATO — House File 241’s short description is: Assault weapons; crime established for manufacturing, transferring, or possessing assault weapons; existing assault weapon disposal or registration provided for; ...penalties provided.

I attended the HF 241 hearing, When the hearing started, Rep. Michael Paymar stated some members had to leave early, and did they. Rep Alice Hausman, the author, departed after her opening statement.

Heather Martens, a lobbyist funded by the Joyce Foundation, testified for Hausman in her absence. “Expert” Brent Gurtek of French River Muzzleloaders did not offer much in knowledgeable testimony. Martens paraded children’s photographs. Standard fare for trampling on rights. Testimony from a James Younger gang re-enactor was especially egregious. She committed crimes of irrelevance, it was shameless self-promotion.

Before opponents of HF 241 began testimony in the video, you will notice more empty seats. The following were absent: Reps. Debra Hilstrom, Shannon Savick, Dan Schoen, Erik Simonson and Linda Slocum. I cannot say at what time they left nor if they came back.

I take great exception to empty chairs. Thousands of Minnesotans traveled to St. Paul at their expense, incurring lost wages. This hearing was important enough to make sacrifices yet this sentiment was not shared by some elected officials.

I encourage everybody to read HF 241, then go to the Minnesota House of Representatives website and watch the video, all two hours of it.

Make your own decisions. How could HF 241 be considered “common sense” is beyond me. This bill will make felons out of lawful citizens.

Are we prepared to imprison our fellow citizens for exercising their rights?