Democrat State Party Platforms – Massachusetts To Missouri

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Continuing on with my series of posts detailing the position of the individual state Democratic Parties on firearms, we move on to a quintuplet of “M” states.

Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Democratic Party platform actually has very little in it regarding firearms. My supposition is that it was created in 2017 before red flag laws came into vogue and, perhaps more tellingly, because Massachusetts already so much gun control.

From the platform adopted in 2017:

Preventing gun violence through universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons and
high-capacity magazines.

This was from the section entitled, “Public Safety and Crime Prevention”, which deals more with the militarization of the police, community policing and corrections, and the like.

Michigan

The Michigan Democratic Party platform calls for “common sense gun safety” which must be the dog whistle code words meaning more gun control. In a section of the platform that deals much more with prison reform than crime, the Democrats have this to say about guns and gun control:

Enact common sense gun safety measures. Democrats recognize the Constitutional right of Americans to
keep and bear arms under the 2nd Amendment. The vast majority of Michigan gun owners are responsible
citizens and sportsman that value the strong Michigan tradition of hunting and safe use of firearms.
Democrats, along with vast majorities of the American public, support common sense gun safety proposals like closing the gun show loophole and preventing potential terrorists from purchasing
firearms. If an individual is deemed too dangerous to fly, they should be too dangerous to buy a gun.
Democrats also support banning military style weapons, like the AR-15, which has been used in mass
shootings in Sandy Hook, Dallas, Orlando, and across the nation.

The Michigan Democrat’s platform was one of the first I remember seeing advocating using the “no-fly” list to make one a prohibited person.

Minnesota

The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party has much less on gun control in their ongoing party platform than I would have expected. Their section on Public Safety and Crime Prevention only had this to say about firearms:

Reasonable firearm policies that promote public safety and crime prevention without infringing on the
rights of hunters and other sports enthusiasts.

Now the question as to what is a reasonable policy is open to discussion. I would call attention to the fact that they don’t want to infringe “on the rights of hunters and other sports enthusiasts”. They say nothing about those who would use a firearm for self-protection and self-defense. This is interesting as this section also calls for mandatory sentences for drug dealer and rapists as well as stiff penalties for child abuse.

The Minnesota DFL webpage does have an endorsement of March for our Lives and condemns the NRA. That might give you a better feel for what the DFL considers “reasonable firearm policies.”

Mississippi

The Mississippi Democratic Party platform was adopted in 2016 and make absolutely no mention of firearms or gun control. It concentrates much more on education and voting rights. Given the history of voting rights in Mississippi in the 1960s, this is understandable.

The Mississippi Democratic Party web presence is a mess. They still have an active website the basically stops in 2008, the one they publicize on Twitter – http://www.mississippidemocrats.org – goes to a suspended webpage, and the one I got the platform from calls itself the classic Mississippi Democratic Party page.

Missouri

The Missouri Democratic Party platform was adopted in August 2018 and calls for reasonable gun control measures. Reasonable is in the eye of the beholder as you can tell below:

Reasonable firearm policies that promote public safety and crime prevention
without infringing on second amendment rights. Mandatory background
checks and 72-hour waiting periods on the purchase of weapons

  • An assault weapons ban
  • Keeping daycares, schools, health care providers, churches, and
    universities as gun-free zones
  • Keeping illegal guns off our streets and out of the hands of kids
  • Preventing domestic abusers from owning guns

Perhaps not surprising given that Ferguson was in Missouri but the platform endorses Black Lives Matter, body cams for cops, eliminating minimum sentences, and training in non-lethal techniques for police. It also calls for full restitution of voting rights and the ability to hold public office after a sentence is served.

The Fine Hand Of Bloomberg And Bill Drafting

The New York Post reported yesterday that sources within Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration are blaming the Brady Campaign and Bloomberg’s people for all the problems with the new NY SAFE Act. That is, of course, beyond the fact that the bill was rammed through both houses of the New York State legislature with very no discussion.

A Cuomo administration source is flatly denying the governor’s claim that his new anti-gun SAFE Act was carefully drafted, saying the governor himself wasn’t even aware of some provisions when it was hastily enacted into law.

“The governor thought the limit on the size of [gun] magazines would only apply to assault-style rifles, not to handguns,’’ said the source.

“That’s why there’s the big problem now with handguns, among other things in the statute.’’

The legal sale of virtually all semiautomatic handguns will soon be impossible because Cuomo’s law limits the size of bullet-holding magazines to seven shots, virtually none of which are manufactured for sale.

“Much of what’s in the law was drafted by people connected to Mayor Bloomberg and the Brady Center, not by the governor’s staff,” the source said. “That’s why there are so many problems with it.’’

As Michael Bane has reported many times, the new gun control bills in Colorado were drafted by Bloomberg and his people and have definitions that are peculiar to New York law and not Colorado law. This especially relates to the definition of transfer of a firearm.

Meanwhile back in February, in Minnesota, Rep. Alice Hausman, the prime sponsor and ostensible author of HF 241 – the Minnesota “assault weapons” (sic) ban – left the hearings on her own bill and let Heather Martens, a lobbyist from the gun control group Protect Minnesota, explain the bill. Hausman told a reporter later that she really didn’t understand her own bill. That bill also had a different definition of “transfer” as well.

As used in this section, “transfer” means a sale, gift, loan,
assignment, or other delivery to another, whether or not for consideration, of an assault
weapon.

When the BATFE speaks of transfer of a firearm, they mean the transfer of ownership or title. Under normal commercial law, a sales transaction or transfer of title requires an offer, an acceptance of that offer, and the offering of consideration. Consideration is the cash or other remuneration paid for the item. Without those three actions, the transaction or transfer is void and didn’t occur. Notice that the Minnesota law explicitly removes the third element from their definition of transfer.

I’m sure a close examination of any of the other gun control bills involving semi-automatic firearms, magazines, and background checks that have been introduced in many state legislatures would show these same similarities. What Michael Bloomberg and his billions can’t achieve on a national level might be achieved on the state level if we aren’t on guard. As Michael Bane said to Tom Gresham on Sunday during his interview on Gun Talk, they were blindsided in Colorado.

UPDATE: It seems like Mayor Bloomberg isn’t pleased with the reports that Cuomo is blaming the drafting of NY SAFE on him.

Asked about that criticism today, Bloomberg erupted in anger.

“What did we do, put a gun to their head, if you pardon the pun, and force them to write legislation?” he said, during a press conference in Brooklyn about helping the unemployed get jobs. “Is that the allegation? That we were up there with automatic weapons with expanded capacity magazines forcing them to write a bill?”

“That’s the kind of journalism that I find troublesome,” he continued. “You’ve got a source that isn’t willing to put their name on the bill and the reporting of it wasn’t in the context of, is that credible? But they were forced by guns, or a knife at their throat, to take our ideas. If they took our ideas, I’m flattered. I hope they did. And I don’t know whether they did or didn’t, and I don’t know whether they got it accurate or not.”

In a latter statement from one of Bloomberg’s press spokesman, they said they wanted micro-stamping in NY SAFE but never said anything about magazines. Hmmm.

Jacob at GunpoliticsNY.com has more on this along with some analysis. Sebastian discusses this buck-passing and the reliance on polling by some politicians in a post this afternoon. I suggest reading both.

A Look At Gun Prohibitionists In State Legislatures

After my post on gun control legislation in Minnesota and its impact on jobs in that state, I started looking at the legislators who were sponsoring this legislation. Other than the fact that they were all Democrats, or as they are called in Minnesota – Democrat-Farmer-Labor, they had another similarity. They had made their careers, for the most part, in the public sector. Some, like Rep. Alice Hausman and Rep. Phyllis Kahn, even listed their occupation as “Legislator”. Look at the list below of the sponsors of HF 241 which is Minnesota’s version of an assault weapons (sic) ban.

Rep. Alice Hausman
(DFL-St. Paul)
Legislator/fmr Teacher
Rep. Frank Horstein
(DFL-Minneapolis)
Community Organizer
Rep. Erik Simonson
(DFL-Duluth)
Asst Fire Chief
Rep. Jim Davnie
(DFL-Minneapolis)
Financial Educator
Rep. Linda Slocum
(DFL-Richfield)
Teacher
Rep. Rena Moran
(DFL-St. Paul)
Parent Leader Coord.
Rep. Raymond Dehn
(DFL-Minneapolis)
Sustainability
Consultant
Rep. JoAnn Ward
(DFL-Woodbury)
Retired Teacher
Rep. Phyllis Kahn (DFL-Minneapolis)
Legislator/University
Research Assoc.

This made me wonder if the sponsors of gun control legislation in other states shared the similar characteristics of being primary from the public sector. With hearings on gun control legislation in Colorado and New Jersey scheduled for this week, I looked at those two states in particular.

Yesterday, the Colorado House held their hearing on some particularly onerous bills. According to the reports I’ve read, the legislators in question had their minds made up and weren’t really there to listen. Lets look at the list of sponsors for these bills as well as the sponsors for their State Senate counterparts.

Rep. Lois Court (D-Denver)
Community College Instructor
Rep. Crisanta Duran (D-Denver)
Attorney
Rep. Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver)
Legislator
Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Arapahoe)
Legislator
Rep. Randy Fischer (D-Larimer)
Consulting Eng.
Rep. Mike Foote (D-Boulder)
Attorney
Rep. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst (D-Boulder)
Ret. Gov’t Affairs
Rep. Claire Levy (D-Boulder)
Attorney
Rep. Beth McCann (D-Denver)
Legislator
Rep. Jovan Melton (D-Arapahoe)
Consultant
Rep. Dominick Moreno (D-Adams)
Legislator
Rep. Dan Pabon (D-Denver)
Eng./Attorney
Rep. Cherylin Peniston (D-Adams)
Ret. Teacher
Rep. Paul Rosenthal (D-Arapahoe)
Teacher
Rep. Su Ryden (D-Arapahoe)
Legislator
Rep. Joseph Salazar (D-Adams)
Civil Rights Attorney
Rep. Sue Schafer (D-Jefferson)
Educator/Small Bus. Owner
Rep. Angela Williams (D-Denver)
Business Owner
Sen. Morgan Carroll (D-Arapahoe)
Attorney-Disability Law
Sen. Rollie Heath (D-Boulder)
Legislator/Ret. Pres of Johns Manville Corp
Sen. Mary Hodge (D-Adams)
Property Mgmt/fmr. Teacher

Looking over this list, you can see that with few exceptions, the gun prohibitionists come out of the public sector. The only real notable exception on this list is Sen. Rollie Heath of Boulder County who had a significant business career culminating in his being President of building products company Johns Mansville.

Let’s move on to New Jersey where the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee is holding hearings today on a whole host of gun control proposals. Are the proponents of gun control legislation in New Jersey any different than in Minnesota and Colorado? The answer is yes and no. The “no” comes from the fact that they are all Democrats and that they mostly come from the public sector. What makes New Jersey different are the number of actively serving law enforcement officers that are State Assemblymen proposing this legislation. To me this seems like an outrageous conflict of interest but I don’t live in the state of New Jersey and know their local political customs.

Assemblyman Joseph
Cryan (D-Union)
Undersheriff
Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell (D-Bayonne)
Dir. Of Public Safety
Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-Maplewood)
Legislator
Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Elizabeth)
Mun. Prosecutor
Assemblyman Sean Connors (D-Jersey City)
Detective/Police Officer
Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-Teaneck)
Consultant/Fmr Sheriff
Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle
(D-Englewood)
Funeral Director
Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Madison)
Attorney
Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman
(D-Trenton)
Legislator
Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D-Jersey City)
Detective/Police Officer

Summing this up, if you look at just who is proposing the gun control legislation, it is Democrats who tend to have worked their entire lives in the public sector and fed at the public trough. I shouldn’t find this surprising as the hallmark of all of this type of legislation is the constraint on liberties and the bureaucratic minutiae that their implementation will entail. Is not that the ethos of the modern public service to a tee?

UPDATE: I wrote this before listening to Michael Bane’s Down Range Radio podcast. The first segment of the podcast is instructive as to why you are seeing legislators from a public sector background pushing the gun control agenda so strongly. Those of us in the gun culture are a threat to them and their progressive agenda. It isn’t due to our guns but rather our attitudes towards hard work, self reliance, independence, and libertarianism. Hard working, self reliant, independent people are less dependent upon government largesse and less likely to buy into a common good as proclaimed by the progressive elites.

Michael mentions two articles that take this a bit further. First, there is an article in Human Events which talks about the gun culture versus the culture of dependency. The second is by Andrew Klavan writing about Christopher Dorner and the left’s use of violence. Both of these articles are relatively short and worth the time to read. The more we understand our enemies and their hate towards us, the better we can tailor our fight to preserve our rights.

Who Cares About Jobs When Ideology Is At Stake

The gun prohibitionists in the Minnesota State House and Senate obviously don’t care about jobs if they are in the firearms industry. Otherwise, Rep. Alice Hausman (DFL-St. Paul) and her compatriots would never have introduced HF 241. This bill would make it a crime to “manufacture, import, transfer or possess an assault weapon” after its enactment.

The Freedom Group subsidiary DPMS/Panther Arms is located in St. Cloud, Minnesota. It employs 115 employees. In the video below, Adam Bullard, Product Manager for DPMS/Panther Arms testifies before the Minnesota House Public Safety and Policy Committee on HF 241.

The only exceptions the bill provides for the exemption of the manufacture of “assault weapons” for sale to the armed forces or to a Minnesota law enforcement agency. Notice that says nothing about exempting out of state sales and that includes out of state sales to even law enforcement agencies.

Just like Remington is being courted in New York, I’m sure that DPMS/Panther Arms management is hearing from industrial recruiters in other states.