March 12, 2018 03:41 PM
In the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, four Minnesota state senators introduced a pair of bipartisan bills Monday to fight gun violence.
Several gun control bills have been introduced at the Capitol over the past three weeks. The proposals have led advocates on both sides of the debate to organize rallies in the rotunda and the halls outside committee hearings.
Sen. Matt Little (DFL- Lakeville) said he authored the bills after speaking with republicans, National Rifle Association members and his constituents. After a lot of discussion and revisions, Little, Sen. Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury), Sen. Scott Jensen (R-Chaska) and Sen. Paul Anderson (R-Plymouth) crafted two proposals.
One bill calls for universal background checks, meaning a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer would have to be present for all gun transfers and background checks. The other proposal would make it mandatory to report a lost or stolen firearm to law enforcement within two weeks.
Little argued partisan gridlock is costing lives.
"What we, adults, failed to do for 30 years, our kids are now doing," Little said. "That shames me, it should shame us all. More importantly, it should wake us up and shake us until we realize that doing nothing cannot save us from the next shooting or the one after that."
At a press conference, Sen. Jensen and the rest of the senators said they hope the proposals further the discussion. Jensen said he's also heard a lot from his constituents since last month's school shooting in Florida.
"I think the four of us stand before you today, because we also hear the deafening silence of a lack of conversation in the halls of capitols around the nation," Jensen said. "We have to further the discussion. Safe schools are critically important."
The senators are now hoping to find a state representative to author the House bills.
Updated: March 12, 2018 03:41 PM
Created: March 12, 2018 12:12 PM
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