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VIDEO: Goodwin Wants Gun Bill Reconsidered After NY Times Story

MN senator representing Fridley cited felons' ease of getting gun rights.

State Sen. Barb Goodwin (DFL-50) said Friday she would object to a gun-rights bill on the Senate floor because committees won't take into account news that Minnesota's laws on felons getting guns are among the nation's "loosest."

Goodwin, who represents parts of Fridley, cited a New York Times article ("Felons Finding It Easy to Regain Gun Rights"). The article includes this: 

Using partial data from Minnesota’s Judicial Branch, The Times identified more than 70 cases since 2004 of people convicted of “crimes of violence” who have gotten their gun rights back. A closer look at a number of them found a superficial process. The cases included ... [a] man whose petition was approved without even a hearing, even though his felony involved pulling a gun on a man.

Goodwin unsuccessfully requested that the Senate's Finance or Public Safety committees to take the New York Times information into account and reconsider the Defense of Dwelling and Person Act.

The bill, among other things, would make lower the bar for when a homeowner can legally shoot someone who is unlawfully intruding on his or her property.

(The bill's author, Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, faced an ethics complaint last year after she mischaracterized on Twitter statements that Goodwin made in a floor speech.)

Last year a felon from Fridley was sentenced to 15 years in prison for trying to sell a firearm that he did not have rights to possess.

See the full video of today's Senate Finance committee hearing here.

See the New York Times story here. The Times also published an interactive post on felons and guns and a blog post in which the Times reporter answered reader questions.

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