DFL Senators Propose Plan to Address Gun Violence

March 26, 2018 02:47 PM

A group of DFL state senators Monday unveiled a collection of bill proposals meant to address gun violence in both schools and society.

The 'comprehensive' plan focuses on three areas: school safety, gun safety and research.


The senators made the announcement alongside a group of local high school students who participated in Saturday's March for Our Lives at the State Capitol.

RELATED: 'This Just Needs to Stop': Hundreds of Thousands Decry Guns

The DFL senators said the plan is separated into individual bills because they believe the proposals deserve their own discussion in committee hearings.

Sen. Matt Klein, DFL-Mendota Heights, argued most proposals pertaining to gun violence aren't getting the attention they deserve.

"I understand that this is an issue with strong believers on both sides," Klein said. "If we can't discuss this acute and excruciating tragedy in the committee rooms of the state legislature, then why do they bother to send us here?"

RELATED: As Gun Control Measures Stall at State Capitol, Minnesota Teens Continue Call For Change

One of the proposals would authorize school districts to bond for security equipment, and change a revenue program so more funding could be used to make security enhancements.

Another school safety bill would require districts to create a threat assessment team of counselors, law enforcement officers and teachers.

A bill authored by Klein would allow the Minnesota Department of Health to collect and study de-identified gun ownership data, like it does with public health data.

Nearly a dozen bills fall under the gun safety portion of the plan.

One would require criminal background checks for all firearm transfers. Also among the proposals is a bill raising the minimum age to posses a semi-automatic military-style assault gun to 21 years old. 

The plan also calls for a reclassification for bump stocks and the authorization of gun violence protective orders.

Sen. Jason Isaacson, DFL-Shoreview, helped craft several of the bills.

"Please know that my bills aren't going to all of a sudden make schools safer, but it's a first step in a long line of bills and work that we hope to do, and preferably make changes that occur within our community to create some safety," Isaacson said.

The senators called for public hearings for their bills.


Tyler Berg

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