Minn. Dems hope to use momentum to address gun safety

Minn. Dems hope to use momentum to address gun safety

Gun Rights

Hundreds of people jammed into the Minnesota Capitol rotunda on Feb. 22, 2018, to urge state lawmakers to pass bills to prevent gun violence. About 1,000 people filled the rotunda and nearby areas. ST. PAUL — Emboldened by solid gains on election night, Minnesota Democrats plan to push hard for stricter gun laws at the Capitol this year. Expanding criminal background checks for sales and creating “red flag” protective orders will be near the top of their agenda when they take control of the House on Jan. 8. Democratic Gov.-elect Tim Walz, a gun owner once backed by the National Rifle Association also supports the proposals. A Republican-led Senate, though, could stand in the way. After mass shootings at schools in Parkland, Fla., and Santa Fe, Texas, a number of states strengthened their gun laws in 2018. In Minnesota, Republicans who then controlled the House and Senate refused to bring such efforts to a vote. The House power flip isn’t the only thing that is different. This time the entire Senate will be up for election in 2020. “There’s enormous public pressure to do something,” said David Schultz, a political science professor at Hamline University. That’s especially true for Senate Republicans in suburbs that swung for Democrats in the House this past election. “If (Republicans) completely stop these bills from going anywhere … this becomes ammunition for the Democrats in 2020,” Schultz said. Two proposals While lawmakers may consider a slew of gun-control bills this year, Democrats will be […]

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