Skip to main content

Gun control calls mark first day of new Minnesota legislative session

The new House leader says the DFL will be proposing 2 gun safety bills.

Tuesday marked the first day of the new legislative session, with Minnesota the only state in the country with split chambers.

After gaining 18 seats in November's elections, the DFL took control of the Minnesota House, leaving the Republicans in control of the Senate.

The GOP majority in the Senate is just two seats, which could become one on Feb. 5 when a special election is held for the seat vacated by District 11 Sen. Tony Lourey, who resigned to join Gov. Tim Walz's administration.

With control of the legislature finely balanced, both parties set about revealing their legislative agendas for the upcoming session.

And one of the most keenly watched developments over the coming months will be whether there will be any headway made in passing gun safety measures, calls for which grew in 2018 after a series of mass shootings across the U.S.

Lawmakers were greeted at the Minnesota Capitol on Tuesday by a demonstration by Moms Demand Action, a group calling for gun control measures.

Sign up: Subscribe to our daily newsletters

Also in the Capitol Building were Republican counter protesters, some of whom called for protection of the 2nd Amendment, while others called for the Legislature to return more of the state's budget surplus to taxpayers.

Rep. Melissa Hortman, elected as the new House Speaker on Tuesday, joined a press conference alongside Moms Demand Action in which she said two "common sense" gun bills would be among the first 10 proposed by the Democrats in this session.

Moms Demand Action are calling for a bill requiring criminal background checks on all gun sales, and a "Red Flag" law that would allow family members and law enforcement to petition a court for temporary removal of a person's guns if they pose a risk to themselves or others.

Tim Walz, in his first press conference as Minnesota's new governor, said the DFL-backed proposals "just make sense," the Pioneer Press reports.

The question is whether such a bill would pass the GOP-controlled Senate, though two GOP Senators – Paul Anderson and Scott Jensen – did join two DFL colleagues in proposing gun safety measures last year.

Nonetheless most GOPers oppose the red flag and background check proposals, believing they would infringe upon the rights of gun owners.

They instead prefer to bolster the state's mental health services, which is one of the five bills the GOP in the Senate is expected to focus on first this session. The other four relate to child care, healthcare affordability, government accountability, and simplifying the tax code.

The child care proposal, for example, will tackle "regulatory overreach" in order to encourage new childcare providers to start businesses, while its healthcare plans include offering more freedom for people to choose their doctor and making healthcare billing more transparent.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka told reporters he's optimistic about being able to work with the DFL-controlled House and Democratic governor Tim Walz.

That said, he doesn't think November's election results show that Republicans should shift towards Democratic positions on certain issues.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-23 at 9.58.36 PM

Eric Perkins, Miss Minnesota, Paul Fletcher create new podcast

The podcast is released Tuesdays at 8 a.m. and is available wherever you find podcasts.

Mock aircraft cabin.

MSP Airport debuts mock aircraft to help ease flying anxiety

The pre-flight experiences cover the TSA screening procedure, exploring a terminal, boarding a plane and meeting a pilot, and preparing for takeoff.

Scripps National Spelling Bee

These Minnesota kids will be competing at National Spelling Bee

The upcoming event in Maryland will be the first fully in-person Scripps National Spelling Bee since 2019.

covid, kids

New data shows how omicron has impacted kids in Minnesota

The new data shows breakthrough data during the omicron period, which began Dec. 19, 2021.

Javen Juan Moreno

Albert Lea shooting suspect arrested after 3 weeks on the run

He is accused of shooting a man in the upper thigh on May 1.

motorcycle

Motorcyclist, 59, killed after losing control on right curve

The Harley Davidson rider was thrown from his bike.

state capitol Minnesota

Minnesota's 2022 legislative session: What's happening?

A list of items agreed upon and yet to reach any bipartisan agreement in the latest legislative session.

water drain

Water main break floods 40-45 homes in St. Louis Park

The city says the rupture happened on Minnetonka Boulevard.

Eli Hart

Charges: 6-year-old Eli Hart shot up to 9 times by his mother

The 28-year-old is facing 2nd-degree murder charges.

dave lee wcco radio

Former WCCO Radio host Dave Lee moves into podcasts

His new podcast, called 'My First Concert,' launched last week.

Tow Boat

Tow boat collides with Mississippi River lock and dam in Alma, WI

The crash remains under investigation by the United States Coast Guard.

unsplash school bus

Police: Man in minivan approached kids, claimed he was former principal

Investigators say children were approached by a man in a white minivan who falsely claimed he'd been a local school principal.

Related

Proposing gun control bills, GOP lawmakers say they don't care if they get voted out

Republicans and Democrats joined to propose 2 gun control bills on Monday.

Proposing gun control bills, students warn: 'Come November, we will vote'

Democrats have proposed a suite of a dozen gun control bills.

2 gun control bills fail at the Minnesota Capitol, as Republican majority proves too strong

The bills would have expanded background checks and allow families to prohibit a loved one from possessing a gun.

paul gazelka

DFL calls on Gazelka to resign as more is revealed about GOP's COVID outbreak

The Senate Majority Leader is under pressure over the party's COVID-19 controversy.

Once again, the Minnesota legislative session is ending in acrimony

We're hurtling towards the Monday deadline with no agreement on two hugely important bills.

gun debate

Gun bill debate lasts until midnight, will continue Thursday

There was a huge crowd in attendance, many of whom wanted to speak.

Where do Minnesota's election candidates stand on gun control?

It's back at the forefront of people's minds after the Pittsburgh atrocity.