minnesota

Assault weapon ban absent from Minnesota Senate gun control agenda

by Dawn Stevens and Tim Blotz, MYFOX9.com  |  published on February 24, 2013

The Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee is convening Thursday and Friday to review a handful of bills related to gun rights and regulations.

THURSDAY GUN CONTROL AGENDA

– Requiring all gun sales to go through licensed dealers.

– Strengthening restrictions on access to guns by those with mental illness.

– Expanding liability for people who help others get guns they are not allowed to own.

– Allow some retired peace officers to carry guns without a permit.

SENATE WON’T CONSIDER ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN

The judiciary committee chairman says the Minnesota Senate will not consider a controversial assault weapons ban that was introduced in the House, saying that issue is best handled at the federal level.

Uniform crime statistics from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension underscore what prosecutors and law enforcement officers have been saying for years — that access to handguns is more of a safety concern than military-style weapons.

In the past 11 years, there have been more than 11,000 homicides in Minnesota. Of those, 54 percent were committed with handguns and 7 percent involved rifles or shotguns.

MINNESOTANS SOUND OFF

People on both sides of the issue began lining the halls of the Capitol in order to get a ticket to watch or testify hours before the noon hearing began on Thursday.

One man who had never been to the Capitol before took the day off to make his voice heard.

“Law enforcement carries AR-15s, and they carry Glocks with 17-round clips because that’s what they have to do to keep their officers safe,” Cory Brikemeyer said. “Why shouldn’t a citizen have the same right?”

Brikemeyer, who has a permit to carry, legally brought his gun to the debate.

So many people arrived at the Capitol that two overflow rooms were opened, and many victims of gun violence shared emotional stories with lawmakers.

“Minnesota gun violence victims deserve a vote on these bills,” said Mary Streufert, whose daughter was murdered 21 years ago.

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