2 parties, 2 hugely different suggestions from Minnesota to prevent mass shootings

Democrats and GOPers have different views on how to prevent gun violence.

What's happening?

The aftermath of the Florida school massacre has put the spotlight back on gun safety and Minnesota lawmakers have been having their say.

On Monday, GOP Senate majority leader Paul Gazelka and House speaker Kurt Daudt spoke on gun violence prevention with MPR.

They were followed on Tuesday by DFL Rep. Tim Walz, who's running for governor this year and has previously been criticized for accepting donations from the NRA.

What the GOP leaders suggest

Any action in Minnesota on gun control this year will have to come from Republicans, who control both the state House and Senate.

And it looks like their suggestion is an armed cop in every school.

Gazelka appeared on MPR News on Monday and said he would like to see every Minnesota school have some sort of police presence.

In some cases, he concedes, the size of the school would require more than one, and at the very least there would need to be somebody who would "conceal carry."

MPR points out this would be quite an undertaking – and expensive – given there are 2,400 school buildings in Minnesota.


– Minnesotans respond with horror, anger at Florida school shooting.

Daudt added that he doesn't think a ban on assault weapons like the AR-15-type weapons used to carry out massacres in Florida, Las Vegas, San Bernadino and Newtown would solve the problem.

He says it's easy to say "we're just going to ban these weapons," but notes there "are so many weapons out there already."

"I haven’t heard yet of a gun bill that we could pass that would have prevented this from happening," he added.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced that he was instructing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to look into regulations banning bump stocks, which can turn semi-automatic weapons into rapid-fire guns.

A bump stock was used in the Las Vegas mass shooting.

The DFL suggestion

Daudt doesn't think banning assault weapons would work, but Rep. Walz does, saying he now fully supports a ban on them in Minnesota, along with other gun control measures.

In a statement on Tuesday, the gubernatorial candidate calls for universal background checks, a bump-stock ban, the gun violence protective order, and a renewed discussion on access to mental health services.

"And yes, after listening hard to Minnesotans, an assault-weapons ban in Minnesota," he adds.

"All Minnesotans want solutions to ending gun violence, and they want them now: they’ve had it, and I’ve had it, with the years of obstruction and inaction," he said.

Another leading DFL candidate for governor, Rebecca Otto, has also called for the law preventing the Centers for Disease Control from studying gun violence to be lifted.

Walz's statement meanwhile was met with a rebuttal from his fellow candidate, state Rep. Erin Murphy, who said she's glad Walz has had a change of heart regarding the NRA and gun control, but wish it had come sooner.

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