UNITED STATES NEWS

Democrats in the Minnesota Legislature poised to pass contentious gun control measures

May 12, 2023, 1:02 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Democratic Minnesota senators, holding firm despite only a one-vote majority, were poised Friday to pass gun control legislation strongly supported by the governor that would align the battleground state with others nationally that have taken steps to keep guns out of the hands of people in crisis and criminals.

The proposals include a expanded background checks for gun transfers.

“What we are going to be providing — finally — is a path forward for families and law enforcement who know that someone’s exhibiting signs of crisis and danger,” said Democratic Sen. Rob Latz of St. Louis Park, chairman of the Senate public safety committee. “And it will give them lawful tools to separate people in crisis from the firearms that are around them.”

Nineteen other states have some kind of red flag laws, Latz noted at a news conference, including several red states.

Across the country, record-setting pace for mass killings in the U.S.

The overall package survived an initial test vote when all Democrats voted down a Republican motion to send it back to a House-Senate conference committee for more work.

Some rural Democratic senators had long been on the fence. But a key moment came Wednesday when one of them, Sen. Grant Hauschild of Hermantown announced that he would support the overall bill. The two gun measures were not part of the public safety budget bill that the Senate passed earlier. But they were added Wednesday in the conference committee that negotiated the final version, providing some political cover to holdouts by wrapping them into a much bigger public safety package.

The debate was expected to last well into Friday evening. Leaders of the Republican minority signaled ahead of time that they were upset with several non-firearms provisions that were added to the public safety bill in conference committee that weren’t in the original Senate-passed version of the bill.

Democrats who have a more comfortable majority in the Minnesota House scheduled the package for debate late Friday night on the presumption that the Senate would pass it first. The House had already passed the gun measures as part of its original public safety bill. Democratic Gov. Tim Walz has repeatedly said he will sign the legislation.

The package also includes tougher restrictions on the use by police of no-knock warrants. While it stops short of a ban, it allows only very limited exceptions.

GOP leaders objected to how the final version of the 522-page bill wasn’t posted until around 2:30 a.m. Friday. Members can vote only up or down on a conference committee report. They can’t amend it. And Republicans were upset at their voices being shut out of shaping the final version, which they oppose on Second Amendment and other grounds.

“This bill is actually what bad legislating looks like,” Republican House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth of Cold Spring said at a separate news conference. “Democrats have full control, but a very small margin.”

The Minnesota Legislature is rushing to complete work on the major budget bills of the session before the May 22 adjournment deadline. Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman of Brooklyn Park told reporters Thursday that she wants to adjourn early — either next Thursday night or early next Friday morning. Senate Democratic leaders, however, have not agreed to that.

United States News

Associated Press

Maui Fire Department report on deadly wildfire details need for more equipment and mutual aid plans

HONOLULU (AP) — When wildfires broke out across Maui last August, some firefighters carried victims piggyback over downed power lines to safety and sheltered survivors inside their engines. Another drove a moped into a burning neighborhood again and again, whisking people away from danger one at a time. But despite devoting nearly all the personnel […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Senate to convene Mayorkas impeachment trial as Democrats plot quick dismissal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats could end the impeachment trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday before arguments even begin. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is expected to call votes to dismiss two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas after senators are sworn in as jurors midday, a move that could scuttle the trial […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Bob Graham, ex-US senator and Florida governor, dies at 87

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, who chaired the Intelligence Committee following the 2001 terrorist attacks and opposed the Iraq invasion, has died. He was 87. His family announced the death Tuesday in a statement posted on X by his daughter Gwen Graham. Graham, who served three terms in the Senate, made […]

6 hours ago

Jordan Rasmussen 
pictured on July 23, 1973, the day his first child, David, was born. Jordan was m...

Amy Donaldson/KSL Podcasts

The Letter podcast debuts second season on 1982 murders

The Letter podcast rolls out its unexpected second season Tuesday, highlighting generational questions about trauma and forgiveness stemming from the 1982 murders of two young fathers.

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Four people shot — one fatally — in the Bronx by shooters on scooters

NEW YORK (AP) — Four people were shot — one fatally — on a street corner in the Bronx Tuesday evening by shooters riding on scooters, police said. About 10 shots were fired after two scooters pulled up to the intersection after 6 p.m. and passengers on the back of each pulled out guns, Assistant […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Voting technology company settles lawsuit against far-right news outlet over 2020 election claims

WASHINGTON (AP) — A voting technology company targeted by bogus fraud claims related to the 2020 presidential election settled a defamation lawsuit Tuesday against a conservative news outlet. The settlement between Florida-based Smartmatic and One America News Network is the latest development in a larger legal pushback by voting equipment companies that became ensnared in […]

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Democrats in the Minnesota Legislature poised to pass contentious gun control measures