Flanked by students involved in Saturday's "March For Our Lives," Democratic Senators in Minnesota proposed a suite of gun control bills.
Many of the bills have already been put forward earlier this session, and some have since been tabled, but DFL senators say together they form part of a comprehensive package of gun control propositions they are eager to discuss in the Capitol.
Sen. Jason Isaacson, introducing two more bills that would create secure single entries to Minnesota schools and create "threat assessment teams" within the education system, urged Republican majorities to give gun control an airing before the close of this year's legislative session.
More than a dozen gun control bills submitted primarily by Democrats this session, with a few Republicans joining on a couple of them, range from school safety measures, enhanced background checks, a ban on bump stocks, raising the minimum age on assault weapons to 21, and allowing the health department to study gun violence.
DFLers were joined by students who marched on Saturday, among them St. Paul Central High School student Adrian Ali-Caccamo, who issued a warning for politicians who stand in the way of gun control measures: "Come November, we will vote."
"My whole life has been in an era post-Columbine. I remember doing lockdowndrills as young as elementary school. For our generation this has become normal. It is unacceptable. There is not a single student who should have to fear going to school. We, the youth, have the momentum. We have grown up in this environment, and now that we are coming of age we will not sit by and let it continue. We as a society have the power to change the narrative in this country. It is time for us to do so."
MPR notes that the deadline has passed for bills to clear at least one committee, but the DFL says that exceptions can be made and a vote hearing can proceed if there is enough political will on both sides.
Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park) noted that the medical marijuana bill a few years ago was passed despite having gone beyond the committee deadline.
"I think we need more than an informational hearing. We need action this year, and there is time," he said.
"When there is consensus and will to make something happen, there is a procedural basis to make something happen, as well.”