SAINT PAUL, Minn. –Senate DFL Leader Susan Kent along with several members of the Senate Judiciary Committee held a media availability today to discuss the Senate Republican’s gun violence prevention bills. The DFL members contend that while the Republican-introduced gun bills may appear to address the shortcomings in current law and may claim to be motivated by public safety, their package of bills will not keep Minnesota safe and fall dramatically short of DFL-supported legislation that was introduced in the Senate and passed in the House several weeks ago.
On average, 422 Minnesotans die every year from gun violence. Senate Democrats have introduced and have been trying to secure hearings on two sensible gun violence protection bills that passed the House of Representatives weeks ago.
One bill keeps guns out of the hands of dangerous people, domestic abusers, and those who may harm themselves. This legislation, referred to as Extreme Protection Orders, would equip law enforcement and family members with necessary tools to step in before warning signs spiral into tragedies.
The second bill would extend criminal background checks to private gun sales, gun show markets, and online transactions. Minnesotans routinely complete background checks for the transfers of pistols and semiautomatic military-style assault weapons from dealers, and this bill would apply that standard to all firearms. Last year, a Star Tribune poll found that 9 out of 10 Minnesotans support background checks on all private firearm purchases.
In response to the Senate Republicans’ package of bills, Sen. RonLatz, Sen. Susan Kent, Sen. Kari Dziedzic, and Sen. Sandy Pappas released the following statements:
Sen. RonLatz (DFL-Saint Louis Park), DFL Lead on the Judiciary Committee:
“The bills proposed today by Senate Republicans do not go far enough in addressing violence prevention. The House DFL recently passed two sensible gun protection bills that would substantially increase the safety of Minnesotans. The Senate needs to follow suit and implement legislation that actually makes Minnesota a safer place for its citizens.”
Senate DFL Leader Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury) statement:
“As elected officials, it is our responsibility to take meaningful action to help keep our communities safe. The bills being pushed forward by Senate Republicans simply don’t do enough to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, domestic abusers, and those who may harm themselves. Nine out of 10 Minnesotans support expanded background checks but instead of passing them, or emergency risk protection orders that would keep Minnesotans safe, Republicans are pretending to pass ‘bipartisan’ bills that we know simply won’t do enough to prevent gun violence. The House has listened to Minnesotans by passing both. Senate Republicans are the only thing standing in the way of these bills becoming law.”
Sen. KariDziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis) statement:
“Republicans say they are concerned about increased urban violence, but they’re refusing to even consider any plans that would help reduce violence in our communities. The House has passed expanded background checks and emergency risk protection orders. It’s time for the Minnesota Senate to implement common sense gun violence prevention policy to protect all and prove that we value public safety.”
Sen. Sandy Pappas (DFL-Saint Paul) statement:
“Sadly, mass shootings – including the recent ones in El Paso, Dayton, and Milwaukee – have become the new normal in our country. This is unacceptable. Minnesotans deserve a legislature that takes action to curb the epidemic of senseless gun violence and keeps our communities safe. The Senate Republican plans discussed today fall short.”