Politics of gun control ‘debate’ get prickly at Minnesota Capitol

Politics of gun control ‘debate’ get prickly at Minnesota Capitol

Gun Rights

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, on the Senate floor Jan. 8, 2019, at the recovening of the state legislature. Michael Brun / Forum News Service ST. PAUL — The salient question of how to balance public safety with the Second Amendment devolved Thursday, April 4, into games of political brinkmanship, with finger-pointing from both parties and arguments about arcane rules of procedure. This was without anyone actually debating the merits or failings of expanded background checks and so-called “red flag laws.” But by the late afternoon, the state’s top Republican had declared them both “dead.” Again. And possibly more dead than when the day began, because his comments were in response to a Democratic strategy that could result in neither chamber of the Legislature actually passing a gun control bill. Here’s what happened. Always a long shot The notion that any meaningful gun control legislation would become law this year was always a long shot because Republicans widely fall on the side of gun owner rights. And Republicans control the Senate. However, the Democratic strategy has been to force the issue by passing legislation anyway. Many believe they took control of the state House by ousting suburban Republicans, in part, because Democrats support more gun regulations. Democrats have focused on two measures: Expanding criminal background checks to cover more firearms sales and transfers, often pitched as “closing the gun show loophole.” Creating new procedures that would allow a judge to order guns be taken away from people who […]

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