Minn. legislators renew gun control efforts

Sen. Ron Latz
DFL Sen. Ron Latz, seen here in a file photo, says it's more important than ever for local legislators to pass stronger gun laws.
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

Some Minnesota lawmakers are still hoping to pass tougher gun laws this session, despite a defeat for gun control advocates earlier this week in Washington.

The two main sponsors of gun control legislation in the House and Senate, Rep. Michael Paymar and Sen. Ron Latz, say they are disappointed that a U.S. Senate effort to extend background checks was recently voted down.

The two Democrats are pushing for legislation that would not only increase background checks, but would also patch holes in the state's background check system and add more crimes to the list of offenses that make a person ineligible to possess a firearm.

Latz said it's more important than ever for local legislators to pass stronger gun laws.

"Once again, the responsibility falls into the laps of the state Legislature to take common sense approaches toward reducing gun violence," Latz said.

However, Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, said he thinks most legislators will not vote for a comprehensive gun bill.

"I don't think there's a snowball's chance in Hades that anything in background checks or anything else is going to pass in the Senate or the House," Cornish said.

The House and Senate gun bills are expected to start moving again in a few weeks after legislators vote on the budget.

Latz's bill is currently before the Senate Rules Committee, and another background check measure is awaiting action by the full House.

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