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

Anthony Edwards

Ant ejected, Wolves blow huge lead and lose to slumping Hawks

The Timberwolves missed another opportunity to get over .500.

Xcel Energy Center

NHL announces make-up dates for Wild postponements

The Wild will play 40 games in the final 77 days of the regular season.

the mayo clinic - edit

Group says Mayo should be 'severely punished' over research puppy's death

The puppy died two days after undergoing a procedure at a Mayo research facility.

FLickr - minneapolis police - Tony Webster - Feb 2020 - crop

Charges: Man kidnapped woman, sexually assaulted her at gunpoint

The suspect faces three separate felony charges.

mn state capitol january 17 2021

St. Cloud 'Boogaloo Boi' who discussed attack on MN Capitol gets 2 years

He was charged with illegally possessing a machine gun.

Chris Smith

Gophers add All-Ivy League D-tackle from Harvard

Chris Smith will be eligible immediately as a graduate transfer.

school bus

High school basketball team returns from game to find bus driver dead

Members of the girls team returned to the bus to find the driver unresponsive.

covid-19 testing site sign

Minnesota AG sues COVID testing site, alleging it sent false results

Sometimes the company didn't send people their results at all, the lawsuit alleges.

optum headquarters chad davis wikimedia commons

UnitedHealth Group says it made $287B last year, $24B of it profit

The corporation's Optum business represented a significant chunk of that total.


Omicron may have already peaked in Minnesota

Reported cases lag what's happening in real time, so the newly reported cases over the next week or so will still be very high.