Skip to main content
Publish date:

Republican lawmakers shoot down 2 gun safety measures

One DFL lawmaker called it 'deeply disappointing.'

Two gun safety proposals – background checks for private sales and a "red flag" policy – were shot down Tuesday in the Minnesota Legislature, with all five Republicans voting against the measures and all five DFL lawmakers voting in favor.

The two proposals were included in a public safety bill passed by the DFL-controlled House last month.

One measure would have required criminal background checks on more firearm purchases, with DFL supporters arguing this will close loopholes that allow dangerous individuals to buy guns online or at shows.

The other is a 'red flag" law," and would have allowed authorities to temporarily take firearms away from people considered a danger to themselves or others. Fifteen states have this type of law in the books.

These proposals, however, were not in the Republican-controlled Senate's version of the public safety bill. So it went to a conference committee to reach a compromise that would pass both chambers.

It was in this conference committee that the inclusion of the gun safety measures failed on a 5-5 vote Tuesday.

"Minnesotans are demanding that we do more to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, but this session Republicans have opposed every effort to do that,” said DFL Rep. Dave Pinto in a statement. He wrote the criminal background check bill, and called the opposition "deeply disappointing."

Republican Sen. Andrew Lang, one of the "no" votes, said he would "not compromise the Constitutional rights" of his constituents. Republican Rep. Nick Zerwas called the measures "extreme," arguing they won't pass and it's time to move on.

Subscribe: Sign up for our Bring Me The Newsletters

An estimated 90 percent of Minnesotans favor criminal background checks on all gun sales in the U.S., a 2018 Star Tribune poll found, including private sales and those done at gun shows. City Pages recently noted 14 states currently require background checks on all gun sales (Minnesota is not one of them).

Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie, speaking on behalf of a law enforcement coalition, expressed support for both measures Tuesday, MPR reported.

The proposals could be revived at some point in the future, Kevin Featherly of noted. For this Legislative session however, they are all but dead.

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov

2nd period surge leads Wild to fourth straight win

With three goals in the second, the Wild blasted the last-place Coyotes.

Gopher Basketball / R.J. Stephens

Late-tip in helps Gophers pass first big test, improve to 6-0

Luke Loewe's bucket with 2.4 seconds remaining helped the Gophers stay undefeated.


Man, 40, found dead stuck in air duct at his Otter Tail Co. home

The discovery was made by family members Monday morning.

Biden Minnesota visit stream screengrab - 11.30.31

What Biden said during his visit to Minnesota Tuesday

The president spoke at Dakota County Technical College.

Grand Marais

Cook County registers its first COVID-19 death of the pandemic

The sparsely populated, highly-vaccinated county has continuously had one of the lowest rates of COVID in the state.

Waits family screengrab CNN

Support for MN family after anti-maskers target child of school board chair

An online group opposing Kelsey Waits outed the child as transgender.

Pixabay - school - classroom

St. Paul schools add 2 days to winter break due to pandemic stress

The added days off are meant to acknowledge the stress the pandemic has caused.

Fardoussa Abdillahi

Charges: St. Cloud mother killed baby, placed him in dumpster

The 4-month-old baby was found by officers on Sunday morning.


1 dead in crash at Lake Street intersection in south Minneapolis

There have been 465 deaths on Minnesota roads this year, according to the state's traffic division.


St. Paul restaurateur's businesses burglarized a 6th time

The owner of The Gnome and Hope Breakfast Bar is asking politicians to help St. Paul business owners.

North Memorial Air Care

Teen suffers life-threatening injuries in head-on crash in southern MN

The 18-year-old was airlifted to a Mayo Clinic hospital in Rochester.

foo fighters grohl mr rossi wikimedia

Foo Fighters abruptly cancel Gophers stadium show hours after announcing it

The band is looking for a new venue because of a disagreement over COVID protocols.



Republican leader says DFL-backed gun measures won't pass Senate

The House passed a public safety that included expanded background checks.

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.

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.

Cal Bahr

Leaders condemn GOP lawmaker for 'run over' comment at gun rally

Gov. Tim Walz said Rep. Cal Bahr's words were unacceptable.

mary franson without mask

'A virus is going to virus': Unmasked GOP lawmaker rails against COVID-19 measures

Rep. Mary Franson on Monday called for an end to the governor's powers, questioning things like the statewide mask mandate.

State Capitol.

MN Legislature's agreement on public safety bill leaves out key police reforms

Rep. Carlos Mariani called the bill "a great disappointment."