PENNINGTON — Former state Rep. Matt Bliss, a candidate for House District 5A, harshly criticized current Bemidji Democrat Rep. John Persell after Persell voted in favor of of two anti-gun bills Thursday on the House floor. Persell was among Democrats who voted to in favor of H.F. 8 and H.F. 9 as they passed the House with bipartisan opposition. Bliss said the bills infringe on the Second Amendment by violating due process and effectively creating a state gun registry.
“This is a huge issue to the people in our region and Rep. Persell just turned his back on every District 5A citizen who cherishes the Second Amendment,” Bliss said. “These anti-gun bills Rep. Persell voted for create strict new hurdles and barriers for law-abiding Minnesotans, violate our constitutional rights and will do nothing to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals.
“On the House floor, Rep. Persell even refused to answer any questions related to H.F. 8, the universal gun registration and background check bill. On top of that, Rep. Persell is a co-sponsor and was the deciding vote to approve H.F. 9, the Red Flag bill, which undermines due process for gun confiscations. The people of District 5A deserve to know why he sided with metro Democrats by infringing on our gun rights, but Rep. Persell failed to provide them that respect. It’s shameful.”