SAINT PAUL, MN – With the introduction of several bills aimed at stemming gun violence, Minnesota House DFLers are renewing their calls for committee hearings on bills to prevent gun violence before Republican legislative leaders allow legislative deadlines to kill them.
Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL-Saint Paul) has authored two such initiatives: HF 1669 which would require background checks for all gun sales, and HF 1605 which would allow law enforcement and family members to keep guns out of the hands of those who have protective orders and are a danger to others or themselves.
“Gun violence is tragic and preventable,” remarked Rep. Pinto. “I’ve introduced common sense legislation to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals, domestic abusers and those who might hurt themselves. These are common sense measures that are widely supported by Minnesotans. Unfortunately, instead of giving our bills a hearing, Republicans are focusing on reckless carry and shoot first legislation that would put the public in even more danger.”
Rep. Fue Lee (DFL-Minneapolis) has introduced HF 1678, the “Taylor Hayden Gun Violence Prevention Act”. The bill would appropriate $400,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations for gun violence prevention outreach and education campaigns. The programs would be geared toward children and communities most at risk of gun violence.
“In my community, gun violence is an issue that touches almost everyone.” remarked Rep. Lee. “We must do everything in our power to stop gun violence, not just homicides, but suicides and accidental shootings as well. We have an extensive criminal justice system that deals with punishing gun violence, but now we need to be more intentional about supporting the design and implementation of programs that get ahead of it and actually work to prevent it. The Taylor Hayden Gun Violence Prevention Act will be a first step in that direction and Republicans must stop blocking this legislation from going forward.”
This week, as the legislative policy deadline looms, Republicans have chosen to hear HF 188, the reckless carry bill, which would allow dangerous criminals, teenagers, and others—to carry loaded handguns in public without a permit or safety training. Republicans also provided a hearing on HF 292, the shoot first legislation, which would encourage armed vigilantism by emboldening civilians to shoot first, even in public when there are viable alternatives.