On February 14, 2018, ironically just hours before the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida, we published a blog entitled, “Paulsen’s Right-Wing Gun Votes Don’t Represent The Majority Of Our District”. Since the shooting, notwithstanding all the media attention and political protests in favor of reasonable gun control legislation around the country and in Minnesota, there has been virtual radio silence on this issue from Rep. Erik Paulsen.
On March 26, a group called Listen to the Children ran a full page ad in the Minneapolis Star Tribune addressed to Minnesota’s U.S. Senators and Representatives asking if they would introduce, cosponsor or vote for legislation to ban the manufacture and sale of high-capacity magazines for firearms. It also asked if they would return any donation from the NRA and refuse to accept future NRA donations. A spokesman for Paulsen claimed that he has supported ways to combat gun violence but he didn’t specifically address the issues of high-capacity magazines or NRA funding.
Paulsen has “supported ways to combat gun violence”? Really? Was that his 2009 vote to prohibit the Secretary of the Interior from making any law restricting the possession of firearms? Was it his 2010 vote to authorize debtors in bankruptcy to exempt firearms from the property of their estate? Because we really need to make sure that people undergoing the stress and emotional turmoil of bankruptcy have all their firearms readily at hand? Or perhaps the Paulsen spokesman was referring to his 2016 vote, a week after the infamous Orlando nightclub mass shooting, to prevent even any debate about a bill to ban firearm sales to people on terrorist watch lists. Or maybe it was his 2017 vote to block any rules that would have restricted gun purchases by those who are so mentally incompetent they can’t even manage their Social Security benefits, or his vote to authorize veterans deemed mentally incompetent to buy firearms, or his vote to authorize individuals who hold concealed carry permits to carry their firearms in any state which authorizes concealed-carry and overrides the federal law concerning the concealed-carry of a firearm into a school zone. No wonder he has received a 93% approval rating by the NRA or why it has consistently given him donations since he has been in office.
According to the Star Tribune, Paulsen said last Monday that he would not rule out accepting contributions from the NRA in the future. He said, “I wouldn’t discount it, but I would certainly scrutinize it.” Huh? What is he going to scrutinize? Does that mean he’s going to look for bloodstains on the money before he accepts it from NRA?
Replace Paulsen on November 6, 2018.
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Minnesotans for Real Representation is a grassroots organization in Minnesota's Third District with the goal of replacing Erik Paulsen in 2018.