Minnesota gun debate in spotlight as two bills draw hours of emotional testimony

Minnesota gun debate in spotlight as two bills draw hours of emotional testimony

Gun Rights

Katherine Schafer, left, of Protect Minnesota , and Jack Johnson of theGun Owners Caucus spoke durning Wednesday’s House Public Safety Committee heari Minnesota’s gun debate reached its highest stage yet Wednesday night at the State Capitol, where young students and mothers who vaulted the issue atop state Democrats’ agenda shared a packed room with activists who vigorously oppose any new gun restrictions. Two gun control measures key to the new Democratic House majority’s legislative platform moved closer to passage in the House after hours of impassioned testimony at a committee hearing. “This is about human lives,” said Bob Mokos, a Burnsville resident and gun owner whose sister was shot to death in the 1980s. “I, for one, am weary about the children in this country being the price we pay for the Second Amendment.” The two measures up for debate would broaden criminal background checks to include gun sales between private individuals and add a law allowing relatives or law enforcement to petition a judge to take away firearms from those deemed a danger to themselves or others. In a late-night vote, the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committee moved the background check bill along party lines in a 9-7 vote and was poised to advance the “red flag” bill when the committee reconvenes Thursday. Several hundred people mobbed the entrance of the conference room before Wednesday’s ticketed hearing and also filled a nearby overflow room. Speaking in favor of the bills were law […]

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