Testimony in Support of Increased Penalties for Sellers of Straw Gun Purchases

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Senate Judiciary Finance and Policy Committee
March 22, 2024

Chair Latz and Members of the Committee:

The Minnesota Catholic Conference (MCC), the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota, writes to express its support for S.F. 733 (Coleman)/S.F. 5153 (Gustafson). We welcome bi-partisan gun-safety legislation.

Through the years, we have supported multiple pieces of gun-safety legislation that connect rights and responsibilities. People who exercise the right to gun ownership should do so responsibly, and it is in the public interest to ensure through common-sense tools such as background checks that they are able to do so.

When straw purchasers circumvent public prohibitions on the ability of certain persons to own firearms, they endanger the lives and safety of others. Straw purchasers enable people who cannot exercise gun ownership responsibly and when that happens, as in the case of the tragic events in Burnsville, lives are lost.

Furthermore, as gun violence continues to be rampant in many communities, it is imperative that a strong message is sent that people who enable gun violence and irresponsible gun ownership will face significant penalties.

It is encouraging to see legislation move forward that focuses on addressing real loopholes in the framework of gun safety laws, as opposed to taking an overly ideological or partisan approach to the issue one way or another.

We encourage members to move this proposal forward and identify ways to address public safety issues by finding common ground for the common good.

Thank you for your consideration.

Contact: Jason Adkins, Minnesota Catholic Conference Executive Director, [email protected]

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