Despite previously suggesting he would veto it, Gov. Mark Dayton today passed a public safety bill that includes legalizing the use of firearm suppressors in Minnesota.
The measure was one of four bills the governor signed Friday, put forward by the Senate and House as part of the state's $41 billion budget. They cover public safety and judiciary finance, higher education, health and human services, and transportation finance, his office confirmed.
He is still weighing whether to veto some of the remaining bills he has yet to sign. He's already vetoed the $17.1 billion education bill because it did not commit enough funding from the state's $1.9 billion surplus.
But it's proven somewhat surprising he didn't use his veto on the public safety bill, considering it contained several changes relating to gun laws, including the legalization of gun suppressors – sometimes referred to as "silencers."
Just a month ago, Dayton vowed to veto any bill crossing his desk that legalizes the use of suppressors in the state, saying: "To allow gunshots to be silenced increases the danger to law enforcement officers, and to innocent bystanders."
But the Pioneer Press reports the final bill passed by the House and Senate following his comments featured "scaled back language" that he was willing to accept.
The Star Tribune previously reported the bill threatened with a veto had been updated to include a provision to allow local law enforcement chiefs the discretion to deny an application for a suppressor permit.
Other gun measures passed in the bill Friday, KEYC notes, include granting reciprocity for concealed carry permits from other states, and allowing carry permit holders to bring handguns into the State Capitol without having to give prior notice.
The Star Tribune notes other elements of the bills passed include a provision to give pay raises to judges, a $500,000 study into possible changes to MinnesotaCare, tougher drunken-driving laws, and extra funding for Minnesota universities and state colleges. The proposed Blue Alert system, which would notify the public if a law enforcement officer were killed or seriously injured and officials believed the perpetrator posed a threat, was also included.
Dayton has until Saturday to decide whether to veto bills for environment and agriculture, state government agencies, and jobs and energy, the Associated Press reports.