Skip to main content

Minnesota officials react to president's new gun control measures

  • Author:
  • Updated:

President Barack Obama announced new measures Tuesday to help slow gun violence in America, tearing up as he spoke about the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 20 children and six adults.

“First graders,” the president said Tuesday, according to the New York Times, having to wipe his eyes before continuing. “Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad.”

You can watch Obama's remarks here:

Broadly, according to the White House, the measure:

  • Increases the use of background checks and overhauls the background check system;
  • Includes the hiring of more Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents to help enforce laws;
  • Proposes $500 million to increase access to mental health care;
  • And directs certain federal agencies to research gun safety technology.

If you want more detailed information on what exactly it means, and some of the potential issues with it, check out this story by Vox breaking it down.

Reactions from Minnesota

The move drew quick reaction online – on Twitter for example, #StopGunViolence was one of the top trending items in Minneapolis. The conversation on Facebook was also active.

Some elected officials in Minnesota also weighed in. Here's a sampling.

Rep. Keith Ellison, a Democrat representing Minnesota's 5th District, was in full support, saying on Twitter:

Rep. Tom Emmer, a Republican for Minnesota 6th Congressional District, put out a statement, saying in part:

“Today, the President failed to adequately address our country’s glaring mental health problem and prevent acts of terror in our homeland. Instead, the President’s unilateral actions today diminish the rights of law-abiding Americans, all while circumventing the legislative process."

Sen. Al Franken, a DFLer, posted this on Facebook:

Rep. Danny Schoen, a Democrat from Cottage Grove, responded to a report that gun sales went up after Obama's announcement.

Sen. Sean Nienow, a Republican from Cambridge, offered a lot of thoughts on Twitter (mostly, though not completely, against the president's ideas), including this:

More on gun violence in America

The White House says more than 30,000 Americans die from gun violence each year.

Vocativ found that in the opening days of 2016, at least 147 people have been killed by gun violence.

FiveThirtyEight points out that a Quinnipiac poll last month found the majority of Americans – including Republicans, current gun owners, and people living in rural areas – agree with Obama when it comes to expanding background checks to online sales and gun shows.

Politifact looked at the claim that only 3 percent of criminals who use a gun get the firearm legally – and found it to be close to the truth, though it's difficult to say for sure. That would mean many criminals avoid background checks by getting weapons illegally.

Meanwhile the New York Times found the "vast majority" of guns used in 15 recent mass shootings were bought legally, with a federal background check.

Pew Research figures show the reason Americans are buying guns has changed over the years.

Next Up

Brandon Gardas

St. Michael standoff suspect charged, bail set at $10 million

A judge on Monday set the high bail due to "very significant concerns of public safety" regarding Brandon Gardas.


Minnesota's premier trauma center housed at HCMC

The Minneapolis center is nationally recognized in pediatric trauma

Crisp & Green

Crisp & Green opening 13th store in Twin Cities in July

The fast-casual salad and grains restaurant has exploded onto the food scene.

FLickr - Target Field 2019 - mark grabe

Twins to host post-game concert with country star at Target Field

Country singer Cole Swindell is expected to perform for up to 75 minutes after the conclusion of the Blue Jays-Twins contest.


Canton Restaurant closes after nearly 40 years in Burnsville

It's the end of an era in the Twin Cities restaurant world.

Screen Shot 2022-06-27 at 12.47.20 PM

Luck strikes in Minnesota: lottery winners in Duluth, Grand Marais

The North Shore just so happened to be a lucky place to be this past weekend.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, June 27

BA.5 is expected to become the dominant subvariant in Minnesota.

police lights squad car

60-year-old woman arrested after firing shots inside Spicer home

SWAT evacuated nearby residents during the incident.

Florida Georgia Line

Florida Georgia Line booked to play at the Minnesota State Fair

The band is the second country music act to be booked this year.


First case of monkeypox confirmed in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health says the risk to the public is "considered low" at this time.