Students press MN lawmaker for gun bill hearings

limmer guns
Sen. Warren Limmer talked to high school students who showed up at his office to demand hearings on three gun bills. Tim Pugmire|MPR News

Updated: 4:15 p.m.

A group of high school students confronted a key Minnesota lawmaker Monday to demand action on three gun control bills.

The students want Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, to schedule hearings on the measures in the Senate judiciary and public safety committee that he chairs.

The bills are related to gun purchase background checks, creation of a stolen gun registry and protective court orders for gun owners posing a danger.

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“We need these bills to be heard for our own safety,” said Josh Groven, a student at the School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley who organized the demonstration at Limmer’s office.

Limmer, who chairs the Senate judiciary and public safety committee, told the students who crowded into his office that the emphasis this session is on school security improvements, not gun restrictions. He was noncommittal about hearings.

“I’m not going to entertain far right or far left solutions to this. I want solutions that work,” Limmer said. “I want solutions that will keep our kids safe.”

Limmer noted that bills to fund safety improvement in school buildings have advanced from other Senate committees.

The student protesters were not satisfied with the lawmaker’s response. They contend that school security and gun control issues are intertwined and should not be separated.

Groven said they planned to stay outside Limmer’s office for the rest of the day.

“I’m pretty upset,” he said.

Later Monday, Groven was among a group of high school students that disrupted a Senate committee hearing on an unrelated bill.

Limmer briefly paused the hearing while Groven and others were escorted out.