MN House Passes Two Gun Control Bills

Gov. Tim Walz included both bills in his budget

ST. PAUL, Minn. — After 17 people were killed in the Parkland, Florida shooting last year, Martha Wheeler decided that was enough.

“Even as a teacher when we were doing shooter drills, it just didn’t seem like the right thing to be doing, to be traumatizing little kids with shooting drills,” Wheeler said.

It led her to become a volunteer at Moorhead’s chapter of Minnesota Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, a group that’s hoping two new gun control bills will get passed soon.

“If the laws that we have in place were enough, we wouldn’t have a record number of people dying by gun violence.”

The Minnesota House Public Safety Committee has approved a “Red Flag” bill in a 10–7 vote.

It would allow police to seize guns from people a judge deems will pose a threat to themselves or others.

The second measure would allow background checks on most gun sales and transfers in Minnesota, which passed in a 9–7 vote.

Republican State Rep. Matt Grossell is on the committee and voted against both bills.

As a former Police Chief of Blackduck and a Clearwater County Deputy, he says they just won’t work.

“No matter how many restrictions we put on gun ownership and gun purchasing, it’s not going to stop getting their firearms. They’ll continue to steal firearms. They’ll continue to receive firearms in illegal ways,” he said.

Grossell adds the laws would make more hurdles for law–abiding gun owners versus keeping them out of the hands of criminals. He says it’s not about taking away a “weapon of choice” but about changing society.

“If we really want to go after and stop violent crime, then we have got to do it about face as a society and address the deeper issues,” he said.

But Wheeler says the laws can’t be harmful when they’re really just all about prevention.

“The Parkland shooting may not have happened had Florida had a red flag law in place because that shooter was showing many red flags. People knew that the shooter was violent and dangerous but there was no red flag law and so law enforcement couldn’t do anything about it,” Wheeler said.

The bills move on to the full House.

They will then have to be introduced into the Republican–controlled Senate and passed there before Gov. Tim Walz can sign them.

Categories: Local News, Minnesota News, Politics / Elections