ST. PAUL, Minn. - For the last three days, people packed hearing rooms at the State Capitol to voice their concerns about gun control proposals. Thursday night was no different.
Both sides of the issue debated a proposal to ban high capacity magazines. Under the bill, it would make it a felony to possess magazine with more than ten rounds.
John Monson owns Bills Gun Shop and Range in Robbinsdale and two shops near Blaine and in Hudson. He says if the bill is passed into law, it would have a big impact on business.
"Call it a million and half worth of products I would not be able to sell," he said. "From a business standpoint, I would say 70-percent of my product either accept or feeds or is related to high capacity magazine."
Monson calls the proposal devastating to his business. Supporters of the idea call it common sense.
"I don't understand why someone would have the need to have that capacity," said Heather Martens with Protect Minnesota.
At the House Public Safety Committee hearing Thursday, Martens held up a picture of a man holding a firearm with a 150 round canister attached to it.
"The fire power on our streets today is like nothing I knew as a child and it's changed the nature of what we face every day on the streets," she said.
Bill Krause of Plymouth told the committee he owns six guns, but is for this ban, saying it would stop the "arms race against ourselves."
"We cannot call ourselves a country that is civilized when we kill each other at the volume that we are doing now and not take some common sense solutions," said Krause.
But many, if not most of the people who packed the hearing room, including an overflow room across the hallway, were against this ban.
If passed, the law would force gun owners to either turn over their high capacity magazine to police, permanently modify them, or remove them from the state by the end of this year.
"It's not a bill of needs or wants, it's a bill of rights and Minnesotans have the moral right to chose how to protect themselves and their families," said Chris Rager with the National Rifle Association.
He and others also question how realistic it would be for law enforcement to round up all the illegal magazines.
It is just one of many issues lawmakers will have to consider as they prepare for a vote in the next several weeks and something Monson will be watching closely.
"Where is the middle? I don't think they'll be able to find the middle ground," he said.
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