Minnesota stalemate on gun laws is contrast to broader national momentum

Minnesota stalemate on gun laws is contrast to broader national momentum

More than 96,000 gun permits were issued in Minnesota in 2020. — Minnesota Public Radio News file photo By Stephen Montemayor and Jim Spencer, Star Tribune Minnesota is a notable exception as a resurgence of high-profile mass shootings nationwide revives momentum for new gun laws in Washington, D.C., and in multiple states. The impasse over new gun restrictions at the divided State Capitol continues even in the aftermath of the state’s own deadly mass shooting at a health clinic in Buffalo in February. Meanwhile, gun sales in the state are soaring to record highs. Congress and several states are considering expanded background checks on all firearm transfers and new “red flag” laws to let judges remove guns from those deemed a threat. But in Minnesota, advocates on both sides of the debate already are setting their sights on the 2022 election, when all 201 state legislative seats are on the ballot. The coming legislative redistricting also could bring changes. Population shifts are expected to result in more lawmakers from metro-area districts with voters more favorable to new gun restrictions. “As long as legislators feel like they are being held hostage by the right wing of their political parties and that they can have someone run against them in a primary or in an endorsement battle over this issue, they are going to answer to those folks and not to the majority of their district,” said state Sen. Ron Latz, a St. Louis Park Democrat who is again sponsoring background […]

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