March 01, 2018 03:03 PM
Two gun control bills could be up for a sudden House committee vote Thursday.
Supporters of both gun control and gun rights called for people to pack into the Capitol rotunda as the bills were being heard.
It was an obscure Parliamentary rule that allowed the bills a committee hearing Thursday.
In just a short time, proposals from Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL) have earned a lot of support and a lot of criticism, which is why the Capitol rotunda is expected to be filled for the House Public Safety Committee hearing.
One of the bills would give law enforcement and family a way to stop people from possessing a gun for a fixed period of time if they pose a significant danger to themselves or others.
The other bill would expand background checks.
For example, say two private parties want to transfer firearms. Under this proposed law, it would have to be done through a licensed gun dealer so the dealer can make a record and complete a background check. Failure to do that would result in a gross misdemeanor. The second time for such a transaction would result in a felony.
The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus had hundreds of members show up as early as 8 a.m. Bryan Strawser, the chairman of the group, said members traveled several hours to oppose the bills.
"We believe the gun violence restraining order bill has some significant due process challenges. It allows the confiscation of firearms without a hearing where a gun owner gets to have representation," Strawser said. "The universal background check bill puts a lot of undue burden on gun owners across the state. Particularly the economically disadvantaged that will have to find a way to get to a gun shop."
Between Moms Demanding Action and Protect Minnesota, gun control advocates also expected hundreds of members. Erin Zamoff, the chapter leader for Moms Demanding Action - Minnesota, called the proposed bill "common sense legislation."
"I'm hopeful that the tide is turning and that they are listening to us, and I hope that they take action," Zamoff said. "If they don't have the courage to take action, we'll elect leaders who do in November."
So many people showed up for the hearing, tickets had to be dispersed to only a handful of each group's members.
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Updated: March 01, 2018 03:03 PM
Created: March 01, 2018 06:01 AM
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