State House committee passes red flag legislation

February 28, 2019 06:12 PM

Lawmakers have passed red flag legislation after passionate testimony went late into the night on Wednesday and forced the committee to pick it up again Thursday.

Lawmakers were on the floor until midnight.


A committee passed one bill for universal background checks but did not have a chance to vote on a "red flag" bill.

RELATED: Minnesota House panel backs gun sale checks

Like the background check bill, the red flag legislation was expected to pass the committee Thursday. According to KSTP Chief Political Reporter Tom Hauser, the committee passed it shortly after 3 p.m. on Thursday.

After hours of testimony well into the night, gun control advocates said they were disappointed with the outcome.

"The main thing we object with these bills is they don't do what they are reported to do," Sarah Cade said. "We got supporters saying, 'Oh they're common sense, they are reasonable, they prevent mass shootings, they prevent this;' they don't actually when you actually look at the data, they don't prevent any of that."  

The main focus on Wednesday night was the universal background checks bill. Gun control advocates say there is a gap in the system.

Currently, state law doesn't require background checks on private gun sales. In 2017, 22 percent of people who acquired guns did so without having to answer any questions.

Bunny Beeks - whose mother, Birdell Beeks, was fatally shot by a convicted felon in 2016 in Minneapolis - was in attendance at the hearing Wednesday.

"Minnesota failed my mother," Bunny Beeks said. "But you have the ability to protect all Minnesotans from this day forward. This bill is not about taking away the rights of law-abiding citizens. It's about protecting Minnesotans from individuals who should not have the right to purchase or carry firearms. It's about making the laws equal for all."

The red flag bill would allow courts to take guns away from people that pose a risk to others or themselves.

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Rebecca Omastiak & Ashley Zilka

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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