Mark Dayton on Guns

I’ve mentioned governor candidate Tom Emmers on here several times so far but have spoken little about his main opponent Mark Dayton.

Well it’s about time I got off of my lazy ass and posted some information on Dayton when it comes to the right to keep and bear arms. During a debate Emmers asked Dayton about his National Rifle Association (NRA) ‘F’ rating:

Tom Emmer: I do. I do. Ah, Senator Dayton you talk about deathbed conversions. Ive explained why I do the things I do. Ah, if you could just explain to me and everybody else here in the state of Minnesota, how is it that you can have an F rating from the NRA and you can sit up here and tell us that you’re gonna defend sportsmen’s rights, you’re gonna defend my right and my children’s right to hunt and fish in this state when you got an F from the NRA? Have you had one of your own ah, deathbed conversions? Well, we wont call it deathbed, but one of your own conversions that you’re sharing with us today?

Fair enough question. Dayton attempting to be a master of spin decided to make the following rebuttal:

Mark Dayton: Well, I had a D rating from the NRA in 1982 when I ran for the Senate. I had a two- an A rating in 2000. There were two principal votes you can look em up ah, when I was a Senator. One was ah, banning Cop Killer bullets. And, ah, one reason that I have the endorsement of the Minneapolis Police and Peace Officers Association, Representative, is because I respect the law enforcement men and women. I was on a ride-along last week to, as Ive been several times with a police officer in St. Paul. And those guys wear bulletproof vests every time they go out there. Men and women. And anybody who wants to go out there and see them put their lives on the line to protect us.

Dayton claims that he received his ‘F’ rating because he voted for a ban on “cop-killer bullets.” The funny thing is there is no such thing as “cop-killer bullets” do I did some digging. Since I’m willing to put a tremendous amount of work into avoid work I found somebody else who already did the digging for me. On the Let Freedom Ring site a great post was written going over what Dayton actually voted on to receive his ‘F’ rating.

He voted for an amendment to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act presented by the late Ted Kennedy. The amendment would have given the Attorney General the right to ban rifle ammunition he considered armor piercing:


(a) EXPANSION OF DEFINITION OF ARMOR PIERCING AMMUNITION.–Section 921(a)(17)(B) of title 18, United States Code, is amended–

(1) in clause (i), by striking “or” at the end;

(2) in clause (ii), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

“(iii) a projectile that may be used in a handgun and that the Attorney General determines, pursuant to section 926(d), to be capable of penetrating body armor; or

“(iv) a projectile for a centerfire rifle, designed or marketed as having armor piercing capability, that the Attorney General determines, pursuant to section 926(d), to be more likely to penetrate body armor than standard ammunition of the same caliber.”.

In summary if the Attorney General determines a rifle cartridge to be more likely to penetrate body armor than “standard ammunition” he could label it armor piercing and make it a prohibited. That’s a damned side different than banning “cop-killer bullets.”

I did some additional searching to see what else came up and I found a few interesting things. Apparently at one time he was against registration but later was for some registration and licensing (namely of handguns). He also voted against legislation that would protect firearm manufacturers from lawsuits placed against them claiming said manufacturers are responsible for gun violence (kind of like suing an automobile manufacturer because somebody killed another person will driving under the influence).

Finally Dayton is for laws that prohibit firearms the possession of firearms within 1,000 feet of school property. Anybody who’s read this site or any other gun blog for any length of time knows that “gun-free zones” are ineffective and should be renamed “defenseless easy prey zones.” There is a reason many mass shootings occur on school grounds, the attackers know everybody there is unarmed and therefore easy prey.

Mark Dayton isn’t good on guns. He’s stated he owns firearms and is pro-hunting but hasn’t made any statement (that I’ve found) about being pro-self-defense, pro-right to carry, or in favor of castle doctrine (which his main opponent Tom Emmers is in favor of). I guess that’s yet another reason I won’t be voting for him.