A bill that would make it illegal for people under domestic violence restraining orders to possess firearms drew crowds of supporters and opponents to a Minnesota Senate hearing Thursday night.
Bill author Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park, and other supporters say the proposal could save lives and women should have the right to be safe in their homes.
Critics, though, say federal law already prohibits people under a final order of protection from having guns.
The Minnesota bill amounts to a "prejudicial punishment, so that when someone is merely accused, they will in storage and transfer fees very quickly pay more than the cost of the firearms themselves," said Andrew Rothman, president of the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance.
The safety of abuse victims should trump concerns about gun ownership rights, said Heather Martens with the group Protect Minnesota.
"The right of a woman to be safe is an important right in our society," Martens said. "This has nothing to do with the Constitution. This has to do with the right of a woman to be safe in her own home."