February 20th, 2013 Testimony of Bryan Strawser before the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee on SF458
by Bryan Strawser
Remarks as Prepared…
Thank you Mr. Chairman and thanks to each of you for an opportunity to address this committee.
My name is Bryan Strawser – I live in Woodbury, Minnesota. I’m a 20 year corporate security and crisis management professional.
Like others, I am here on my own time – and I’ll be here tomorrow taking a day off of work and grad school.
I am here to testify in opposition to SF458
Given the time constraints, I will make a few simple points.
First, much of the testimony around this bill today has focused on the 40% of firearms transactions as the basis for this proposed legislative change. This number is based on a sample of only 251 transactions 20 years ago.
This number has been challenged as recently as a few weeks ago by the Washington Post who described the use of this figure as deserving of two Pinocchinos for its level of falsehood.
Second, criminals are not going to follow the requirements of this law. As we have heard in testimony this evening, the criminal element will continue to trade in firearms illegally.
Third, This bill calls for a permit to purchase fee of $25 and requires a firearms transfer to happen at a federal firearms license holder – who may charge another fee not to exceed $25.
This law makes it more expensive for the law abiding citizen to follow the law.
The US Government’s own National Institute of Justice in a January 2013 memo stated that universal background checks will not be effective unless they are coupled with mandatory firearms registration, a firearms surveillance program, and a crackdown on straw purchasers.
Finally, we’ve heard a lot today about the tragedies in Sandy Hook, Aurora, and other mass shootings. Nothing in this bill would have stopped or prevented those horrible situations from happening.
I agree that there are challenges with the background check system in the United States and here in Minnesota. Let’s get the right records into the system and start prosecuting the criminals that are violating our existing firearms laws. The right place for these sorts of criminals is behind bars – not on the streets.
I strongly reject the notion, as many here do, that the actions of criminals are in any way shape or form – the fault of law abiding citizens – or law abiding gun owners.
Thanks for your time.