New gun bill has 73 co-sponsors, NRA backing; critics call it a cop-out


A new gun bill introduced at the Minnesota Capitol is supported by a majority of House members and by the National Rifle Association.

Supporters call it a compromise measure and say it's the only gun bill with enough support for approval at the Legislature.

But advocates of stricter controls on guns complain that the bill does little, with one telling Fox 9 it's a cop out.

The bill introduced by Rep. Debra Hillstrom (DFL-Brooklyn Center) adds to the list of felony crimes that make people ineligible to own guns. It also strengthens data collection and sharing in criminal background checks. It does not, however, make those checks mandatory for all gun purchases.

Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park), who chairs the Judiciary Committee, tells Politics in Minnesota that approving a bill without universal background checks would be "a major failing for all victims of gun violence." Latz presided over gun hearings in the Senate and says he's working on putting together his own bill.

The Representative who chaired House hearings, Michael Paymar (DFL-St. Paul), does not support the new bill. Paymar tells MPR he's forging ahead with his own plan, which does include universal background checks. Paymar says law enforcement leaders and -- according to a recent poll -- a majority of Minnesotans support universal background checks.

As an appendix to the gun debate, MPR also put together a map showing which Minnesota counties have issued the most handgun permits per resident. Northeastern and north central counties lead the way.

Next Up

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Vikings vs. Jags is a battle of retool vs. rebuild

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

Screen Shot 2020-11-23 at 8.35.40 AM

More than 230,000 people have downloaded Minnesota's COVID exposure app

The more people who use the app, the more effective it is.


Despite pandemic, Life Time pushes ahead to open downtown co-working space

It was originally planned to open in the fall, but it has been pushed back to April.

shamrocks irish nook

The Nook issues plea, asks people to order from its other restaurant

Shamrocks Irish Nook has the same food as The Nook, the restaurant owners say.

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 9.55.05 PM

Small plane lands on northbound I-35W in Twin Cities

A large police presence is at the scene.


Judge orders Minnesota gym that defied shutdown to close

Attorney General Keith Ellison sued the gym after it remained open.

montana cutbank

Charges: Man shot victim 'without provocation' using sawed-off shotgun

The incident happened on Nov. 24 in Ten Lake Township, located in Beltrami County.

Governor Tim Walz

Watch live: Walz, first responders address Minnesotans

Some departments have been forced to shift staffing or suspend service due to COVID-19.

covid-19, coronavirus

CDC says COVID-19 quarantine period can be cut to 10 or 7 days

You can come out of a 7-day quarantine following exposure provided you've had a negative test.

maple grove fire

1 person found dead inside Maple Grove business that burned down

A person had been unaccounted following the fire that destroyed Hanson Implement and Storage Tuesday night.

One-dollar bill, cash, money

Appeals court rules MN high school students can get unemployment benefits

They've been denied the benefits, and some were even asked to pay them back.