A new political action committee aimed at supporting pro-gun rights candidates in Minnesota elections launched on Tuesday. The Minnesota Gun Owners PAC announced that they will raise money for, endorse, and rate candidates based on their positions on gun control.
Politics in Minnesota reports the PAC's formation came from an effort to pass enhanced gun restrictions during the 2013 legislative session. The debate in Minnesota mirrored similar legislative battles nationwide following the Sandy Hook school shooting in Dec. 2012.
The group's chairman Mark Okern said," The Minnesota Gun Owners PAC was formed following the end of the 2013 legislative session. Over multiple days of hearings, law abiding gun owners heard proposal after proposal that would have taken away their ability to protect themselves, hunt, and enjoy shooting sports, while having no impact on gun violence."
Crowds of gun-right supporters and gun-control activists packed the capitol during hearings at the legislature during the 2013 session.
Rural Democrats in the Minnesota House along with Republican counterparts blocked any significant overhaul of the state gun laws, rejecting several proposals that would have expanded background checks for gun purchases as well as placed regulations on the type of firearms and ammunition available for sale in Minnesota.
Despite the lack of major changes to the state gun laws in 2013, gun control advocates expect to return to the legislature this year.