Lawmakers, public debate stricter background checks for guns

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Lawmakers and Minnesotans got into some heated discussions Tuesday on the topic of gun control.

According to WCCO, hundreds of people gathered in St. Paul for the Senate Judiciary Committee's meeting. They talked about bills by DFL Sen. Ron Latz.

One of the bills discussed called for more background checks. It would require criminal background checks for firearm sales and transfers.

While the bill wouldn't stop people from being able to get guns, the station notes it would make purchasing them more difficult.

MPR News says people, including members of the public, spent more than two hours testifying for and against these stricter background checks.

Both parties gave statistics, with bill advocates saying stricter laws could help keep guns from falling into the hands of criminals – and opponents arguing back that criminals aren't getting their weapons legally anyway.

But despite the long, intense meeting, no votes were had and MPR says these bills won't be getting anywhere in this session.

Latz tells the news source that the meeting was simply to encourage discussion on his bill and the topic of gun control in Minnesota.

According to the Star Tribune, he hopes to continue the discussion next year.

The second bill that was discussed would give law enforcement and family members the ability to petition a court to prohibit a person from getting a firearm if the person is believed to be a danger to themselves or someone else.

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