SAINT PAUL, MN – Today, DFL Minnesota State Representatives will request meaningful gun violence prevention bills be debated at the Capitol. After yet another mass shooting at a highschool in Parkland, FL last week, State Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL – St. Paul) will ask for several bills aimed at stemming gun violence to be voted on, and renew his calls for committee hearings on bills to prevent gun violence. Republican legislative leaders allowed legislative deadlines to “kill” these bills in 2017.
“There are common-sense gun safety measures we can work on together to make our families, communities, and Minnesota safer,” said DFL Leader Melissa Hortman. “I am hopeful that we can move forward with measures to prevent senseless gun violence. These measures deserve full discussion and quick attention at the Legislature.”
The two initiatives authored by Rep. Pinto include HF 1669, which would require criminal background checks for all gun sales, and HF 1605 which would allow law enforcement and family members to keep guns out of the hands of those who have court-issued protective orders and are a significant danger to others or themselves. Rep. Pinto, a Ramsey County prosecutor, feels strongly that such a gun violence protective order (GVPO) could have prevented the most recent shooting in Florida.
“Gun violence is tragic, and it is not inevitable,” said Rep. Pinto. “I’ve introduced common-sense legislation to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals and other dangerous people. These are common-sense measures that have worked well in other states and are widely supported by Minnesotans. Unfortunately, instead of giving our bills a hearing last year, Republicans focused their attention on reckless carry and shoot first legislation that would put the public in even more danger.”
Instead of hearing gun violence prevention legislation in 2017, House Republicans chose to hear two bills that would actually increase the risk of gun violence. HF 188, the reckless carry bill, which would allow dangerous criminals, teenagers, and others—to carry loaded handguns in public without a permit or safety training; as well as HF 238, the shoot first legislation, which would encourage armed vigilantism by emboldening civilians to shoot first, even in public when there are viable alternatives.