February 21, 2019



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New House Republican Caucus

Contact: Andy Gildea


Andy.Gild[email protected]


RELEASE DATE:  Thursday, February 21, 2019



ST. PAUL - - Several House Republicans today introduced a proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution which would guarantee the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms to defend themselves, others, and their freedom.

Rep. Cal Bahr (Republican-East Bethel) introduced HF 1334, which would allow voters to decide whether the right of citizens to keep and bear arms should be added to the state Constitution.

“None of your other rights matter if you do not have the right to live and be free,” said Rep. Steve Drazkowski (Republican-Mazeppa).  “The federal constitution and recent U.S. Supreme Court holdings have confirmed that this is the individual right of citizens.  We need to incorporate that right in Minnesota’s Constitution.”

The proposed amendment would read:  “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

That differs from the Second Amendment to the federal Constitution which reads:  “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

“The reference to a well-regulated Militia in the federal Constitution was disregarded by the Supreme Court when it held that the right to keep and bear arms was an individual right that belonged to private citizens,” said Rep. Jeremy Munson (Republican-Lake Crystal).  “For that reason, our proposal is shorter and more direct.”

In the first of those recent federal decisions. District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court held that the right to bear arms was not “unlimited” and was subject to “reasonable regulations” by federal, state, and local governments.

Because the proposed Minnesota amendment would be different from the federal guarantee, it would have to be weighed by state and federal courts.

“Minnesota’s Constitution guarantees the right of law-abiding citizens to hunt and fish,” said Rep. Bahr. “It should also guarantee the right of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and the lives of others.”

“The phrase ’shall not be infringed’ has to mean something,” Rep. Drazkowski said.  “Freedom means freedom.”


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