Pine Island man fights assault rifle bill - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Pine Island man fights assault rifle bill

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PINE ISLAND, Minn. (KTTC) -- A Pine Island man finds himself in the crossfire of gun violence talks in St. Paul Wednesday.  Kevin Collins voiced his opposition against the proposed gun violence bills at the committee hearing.

Collins is concerned the proposed legislation could crush a newly constructed shooting range.

"None of these bills are directed at criminals they are directed at law abiding citizens," Collins said.

Collins has a lot riding on this anti-assault rifle bill, as his new sport-shooting range in Pine Island nears completion. 

"These sports are based on shooting modern sporting rifles which are referred to here as assault weapons," he testified.

Catering to the clientele of sport-shooters like Lucas Webster, a competitive shooter and the owner of Mainstream Firearms & Marine in Winona. 

"I sell guns for a living so not only would it directly effect my income but it would also destroy my hobbies which are USPSA and Three-Gun. It would take them and move them out of state," Webster said.

Three-gun is a competition, using the skill combination of firing a shotgun, pistol, and rifle.

Back in Pine Island, Collins laid out three Ruger rifles, all the same caliber.  Under the proposed bill H.F. 241, one of these three would become illegal because it had a combination of a detachable magazine and a thumb-hole stock.  The hearing for large capacity magazines will be up for discussion Thursday.

"I would come up here and show the politicians how I feel as a voter... as a Minnesotan, to get my opinion out there," Webster said.

Collins and Webster said no matter how lawmakers act, gun violence comes from the person behind the sights and not from the weapon itself.

The opposition states this bill would certainly lower the potential dangers of mass-shootings.

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