The Latest: Democrats vow to keep pushing gun law changes
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on legislation involving guns in Minnesota (all times local):
Democratic lawmakers and proponents of stronger gun laws say their efforts aren’t over.
Republicans on Thursday quickly put a stop to pair of bills seeking to expand background checks and temporary restrictions for gun owners by a court order. Those measures were tabled by Republicans who control the House.
St. Paul Rep. Dave Pinto told reporters after the House Public Safety Committee meeting that he plans to tweak his bills in hopes of getting another hearing. Hundreds of citizens on both sides of the issue flooded the Capitol to rally support or opposition for the legislation.
Moms Demand Action Minnesota chapter leader Erin Zamoff says if lawmakers don’t vote for stricter gun laws, “then we’ll vote in people who do.”
A pair Democratic-backed bills calling for expanding background checks to all gun sales in Minnesota was tabled in a House committee on a near-party line vote.
The GOP-majority Public Safety Committee tabled both bills, with opponents questioning whether it would be effective. Supporters argued it could keep potentially dangerous people from acquiring guns via private sales.
The bill was one of two bills pushed by Democrats to get a hearing Thursday. As lawmakers considered the legislation, hundreds of citizens on both sides of the issue packed the halls of the Capitol seeking to influence legislators.
Efforts to curb gun violence and gun access have gained momentum nationwide after the shootings last month in Florida that killed 17 students and teachers, but they face stiff opposition in Minnesota’s GOP-controlled Legislature.
Chairman Brian Johnson says the bills will remain in the committee. He didn’t say if they would be heard at a later date.
Bills that would restrict gun access are coming up for a sudden vote before a Minnesota House committee.
Democratic St. Paul Rep. Dave Pinto used an obscure parliamentary rule to force the Thursday hearing in the House Public Safety Committee. One bill would expand background checks to all gun sales and transfers. Another would give family members a legal way to temporarily restrict a loved one’s firearm access.
Both bills face a steep climb and frosty reception in the Republican-controlled Legislature.
But efforts to address gun violence and firearm access are gaining steam nationwide after the latest school shooting in Florida. Seventeen students and teachers were killed during the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school.